TOLEDO, Ohio – An Ohio elementary school is investigating a reports of inappropriate touching among the school’s first-grade girls.
A 7-year-old female student at Toledo’s Rise and Shine Academy approached school officials last week with allegations that two of her female first-grade accosted her for sexual favors in the school bathroom on multiple occasions, WTOL reports.
The alleged victim’s mother told CBS News school officials contacted her with the news, and she then filed a police report and contacted Lucas County Children’s Services for help.
“My daughter is considered the victim. They think that they bribed my daughter into doing things,” said the mother, who did not want to be identified. “Not once but twice. And the first time she said she didn’t say anything because she was scared.”
The girl’s mother said she won’t return her daughter to the school until Rise and Shine officials take action against the two girls involved, who are ages 6 and 8.
“Something needs to be done,” she said. “Especially if they’re not keeping a close eye on the children and this is what’s going on at the school.”
Pat McKinstry, CEO of Rise and Shine Academy in Toledo, didn’t go into details about what happened, but said one of the first-graders initiated inappropriate activity between herself and the other girls. A teacher reported the situation immediately after it was reported, and school officials addressed the issue with the children and their parents, he said.
McKinstry said the child who initiated the contact was removed from school and cannot return until she receives counseling.
“We have not let that child come back. It’s disheartening, it’s sad to me that we have to terminate her if her mother would not be honest enough to get this baby some treatment,” McKinstry told WTOL.
“This incident, even though it happened, these 6-year-olds’ innocent minds are only reacting to what they have been exposed to,” he said.
Officials changed the school’s bathroom policy following the report, to only let one child in at a time, and terminated the teacher who was overseeing students when the incidents occurred. Officials told WTOL the teacher did not follow the school’s bathroom policy, which involves watching students while in the restroom.
“We’ve been made aware with the situation that involves like age children and due to the sensitivity of the matter, because of the ages of the children, the incident is still under investigation,” school officials said in a statement.
“We’re not at liberty to discuss further details, but additional policies have been put into place to ensure the continued safety of our children,” the statement read.
Many people who read the story online urged police to investigate the parents of the girl who instigated the incident.
“A child was sexually abused by two other children who most likely have also been sexually abused, my guess is at home,” JEHSEA posted to CBS News.
“Often children act out like that when they have been sexually abused,” Adam Russell wrote. “They should investigate the parents.”
“Investigate the families, home environment of the girls who forced this girl to do what she did,” ABBYLELABBEY posted. “Something is very much amiss for them to act in such a manner.”
“You’re absolutely correct,” GMA2NZG responded. “I wonder who taught the 6 and 8 year olds about sex in the first place.”