Nakamoto uncovers shocking investigation: Kids performing oral sex at area Head Start
SPRINGFIELD- A mother of a 4-year-old is demanding aggressive action against two teachers at a Head Start program after she said her child was sexually assaulted in a classroom by another 4-year-old.
The incident happened at the end of February but the mother said she was just made aware of an investigation that was conducted by the Department of Education. The WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained the documents of that investigation through a public records request in the last few days.
The investigation revealed the facility failed to notify the state in a timely manner of an incident and, similarly, it failed to notify the parents promptly. Another concerning find: A lack of supervision despite three adults being in the classroom when the incident happened.
The mother said she was called and told that her child was fondled by another kid. She sent her mother to pick him up from school.
"Grandma picks him up and he tells grandma that this kid 'ate my wee wee,'" the mother said.
The incident occurred on a Friday and she scheduled a meeting with leaders at the Head Start in Springfield the following Monday.
"The headteacher takes me outside and said another child pulled my son's pants down and the child was performing oral sex on him and there were teeth marks," the mother said.
The investigative report notes that classroom video indicates the offending child pulled another child's pants down at 10:26 am. Two minutes passed before an adult noticed one of the children on the floor with their pants and underwear pulled down.
"We called licensing first," Executive Director Dr. Susan Spring said. "Because of how they define a critical incident, sometimes you don't know whether to report it to [the Department of Children and Family Services] also. We reported it to licensing."
Spring said the two teachers who were in the classroom at the time were disciplined, but she declined to say what the discipline was, citing personnel matters. She did confirm that both are still employed.
"The teachers were doing their jobs," Spring said. "They are supervising children. It just happened that those two for those few seconds were not in her vision."
WBRZ informed Spring that the report noted that it was two minutes.
"I haven't watched the video," Spring said. "I don't know that it was two minutes."
Spring said the facility has put safeguards in place, like checking for blind spots in classrooms. She added that this type of exploratory behavior in children is common for kids of their age, claiming similar incidents happen about once a year.
"This is normal child development behavior," Spring said. "They are going to investigate their bodies. They are going to learn the difference between boys and girls."
Still, this mother believes none of that is enough, and she wants to see more aggressive action taken against those involved.
"I want justice for my child," the mother said. "I want to see these teachers dismissed for negligence, lack of supervision. This could happen not to just my child but another child if they are not removed from the school."
WBRZ spoke to experts who work with children who have been sexually abused. They said the type of actions mentioned in this report are not normal behaviors and are not only concerning but also could indicate something alarming for the child who performed it.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office confirms a report was filed, but because the matter involves juveniles, it could not say whether that investigation was still open.
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