School Backs Off Claim that Playground Touching by 6-Year-Old Was Sexual Assault

Jan 30, 2012

By Debra Cassens Weiss

The mother of a 6-year-old boy says his elementary school was “really overzealous” when it claimed his touching during recess was a “sexual assault” and suspended him for the conduct.

Levina Subrata spoke to the New York Times about the incident last month at Lupine Hills Elementary in Hercules, Calif. The school claimed Subrata’s son had touched another boy on the thigh or groin; Subrata said the conduct was innocent. “They were playing tag,” she told the Times. “There’s no intent to do any sort of sexual assault.”

The boy, who has a different last name than Subrata, could not be charged under California law. The statutes in the state provide that the intent necessary for a sexual assault can only be applied to children in the fourth grade or older, the story says.

Lupine Hills Elementary backed off from the sexual assault allegation and removed it from the boy’s record after his parents hired a lawyer, CBS San Francisco reports.

Experts told the Times that such incidents are part of an emerging national trend. In a similar case in November, a Boston school accused a 7-year-old boy of sexual harassment for kicking another boy in the groin.

Source: ABA Journal