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2nd Graders Allegedly Engaged in Sexual Act in Oakland Classroom

2nd Graders Allegedly Engaged in Sexual Act in Oakland Classroom

A teacher at Markham Elementary School in east Oakland has been placed on leave while officials investigate accusations that two of his second-grade students–a boy and a girl—engaged in oral sex in the classroom, according to the January 21st Mercury News. Officials are also investigating whether two students (who may or may not be the same second-graders) took off their clothes ‘”at least partially”‘ in the same classroom and ‘became disruptive.’ As reported in the January 21st SFGate.com, the teacher, whose name has not been released, has said that ‘he was unaware of either incident.’

Yes, it’s horrific. 

The K-5 school is located n Krause Avenue near the  Eastmont Mall shopping center, in a troubled area of East Oakland. 

Dr. James Crawford-Jakubiak, medical director of the Center for Child Protection at Oakland Children’s Hospital, noted that such sexual behavior in children is ‘”profoundly not normal.”‘ He emphasized that investigators should try to determine if one child initiated the act, and ‘what that child had been exposed to outside the classroom’ as ‘it’s possible one of the children has been sexually abused and needs help.’

Troy Flint, an Oakland Public schools district spokesman, stated in SFGate.com that, if the alleged incidents indeed did occur, it will be important to communicate to the children that ‘”they are not at fault”‘ and that the responsibility lies on teachers and other adults and (in what seems to me a vast understatement) their ‘”egregious lack of supervision.”‘  

But Alan Saunders, who has a 7-year-old nephew in the same classroom as the two children in the alleged incident, defended the teacher. Saunders said that the children

“could have gone around the corner. They have coatrooms and other stuff in every room. It wasn’t like he [the teacher] was at fault. It’s not the teachers’ responsibility to babysit the kids. They’re there to teach them.”

Yes, teachers are not babysitters. But what about in loco parentis? What was the teacher doing, if not keeping track of what his students were up to?

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Photo by the_mishka.

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286 comments

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9:05AM PST on Dec 25, 2011

I was told of a very similar case when I was a caseworker. Two second grade boys knocked a second grade girl down in the schoolyard and fingered her internal genitalia. The mother showed me the teacher's note. The teacher sent a note home about it because the girl reported it ( I do not know what happened to the kids who did it). Teachers cannot be everywhere. If you have a classroom of 35 kids or a schoolyard of 100 even a couple of teachers or paraprofessionals cannot monitor every single kid.

3:21AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Very strange!

1:52PM PST on Dec 21, 2011

My guess?
Both kids have likely been molested before. Sexual curiosity is, in fact, normal. Sexual acts require modeling. At the very least the two have been exposed to excessive media. At the worst, they got hands-on demonstrations from some adult in their lives...

9:19AM PDT on May 1, 2011

I've heard stories like this before. Where are the parents???
The kids learned this somewhere other than the classroom (I hope). Where is the innocence of youth?

8:14PM PST on Feb 21, 2011

Robyn O., what difference does it make that it was Oakland or San Francisco? Does it make it any more of a tragedy or that it should be taken into consideratin "cuz" of where this happened?

I think it's irresponsible to first of all, hold the teacher responsible UNLESS he allowed this to happen in his presence and that has yet to be determined, and secondly, it should NOT be made public UNTIL such time as it has been determined.

By merely making this story public and speculating, this teacher's reputation has now been tarnished. It won't be difficult to find out who he is and his career affected permanently, even if he had no knowledge or responsibility. There aren't even enough facts stated to prove the incident even occurred.

9:36AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

Children only imitate what they learn. They could even be acting out what they have seen in movies. They also could have been molested. I think it's wrong to blame the teacher/others until the full story is revealed. It is sad that our youth are growing up in a world that is so lecherous and unsafe. And people have no regard for their innocence. Not like we can go back to the 50s and 60s role models, but we have to help and nuture our children, they are the future. They need to grow up sane in an insane world.

11:37AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Shocking! What about the age of innocence? If this is progress, I prefer old times.

4:22PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

Oakland is across San Francisco Bay from San Francisco, in California. It is a largely poor and minority area. Finding the cause of such an occurrence is difficult ... "parents," the media's emphasis on sex, pop "music," there's so much a constant emphasis on the need for sex as the most important pursuit in life. The media's overwhelming greed needs sexual content to make money from the easily-led masses.

2:11PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

Both the teacher (male) and parents need to be investigated. The two kids could have been molested by the teacher at others times and acted out in class. Or... the kids could have learned it at home. There seems to be an increase in the number of male teachers being caught sexually molesting their students in recent times. The other issue could be that either child's father thinks it's fine to watch porn in front of the kids at home or the parents are having sex in their view. Nothing surprises me these days. Another potential source would be from other students or adults who have access to these kids. The issue needs to be addressed properly with healing for the children so they don't continue the cycle. The responsible party or parties need to be held fully accountable and punished accordingly. I get so tired of molesters using their troubled childhoods as excuses so they can get lighter sentences because they DO know better. They choose to harm another child because they get sick gratification from it and possibly money from videos/photos.

4:53AM PST on Jan 26, 2011

Terrible...At least we should all be concerned about what is presented on tv because children will model what they watch. Abuse at home? How many cases go unreported and result at the very least in cases like these. The school should just ask the children concerned exactly what they were doing, where did they learn these things, and all down that line of questioning so there won't be all sorts of inaccurate judgments against them or their parents. Hopefully this was just a case of kids having seen something not appropriate for their age and they crossed the line by acting out what they saw. Sigh...

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