Apparently, the old expression “no sex please, we’re British” does not apply to England’s next generation. If a new survey is any indication, an epidemic of inappropriate sexual behavior is sweeping the country’s schoolkids, with children as young as five years old getting kicked out of school for “sexual misconduct.”
England’s Press Association gathered reports from 153 local authorities around the country, to find out how many children had been involved in sexual acts at school. The results were eye-opening. The Association found about 2,000 incidents of sexual behavior at school by pupils, many of them not even yet in their teen years.
The survey covered the time period from January 2010 to September of this year. Many authorities kept no statistics or did not share data on sexual misconduct by schoolchildren, so the actual number of incidents certainly exceeds 2,000, probably by a wide margin.
Authorities generally gave the Press Association only numbers, not details about the various inappropriate sexual acts. But they did share some specifics.
For example, in one Merseyside community, in England’s northwest, a five-year-old was suspended for using sexually explicit language, while another received the same discipline for inappropriate touching.
Among what in England are called “reception age” children, that is, children in their first year of school and likely either four or five years old, the survey showed six children involved in a sexual act on school grounds. Six and seven-year-old kids accounted for another 15 incidents. There were 69 sexual incidents involving 11-year-olds.
But the majority of sexual misconduct incidents unsurprisingly involved children in their teen years. Their offenses ranged from viewing pornography at school to what one school authority rather vaguely referred to as “inappropriate sexual thoughts.”
Lewd behavior, graphic graffiti and “sexting,” that is, digitally transmitting nude or sexually explicit images of themselves, or sexually frank text messages, to other students were also among the offenses noted.
"The extent of sexual harassment, inappropriate sexual behaviour and in the worst cases violence by children is extremely concerning,” said Jon Brown, of England’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, who blamed the easy availability of explicit, sometimes extreme sexual imagery on the internet for the spread of child sexual misconduct.
"Exposure to extreme, sometimes sexually violent and degrading material is now only a few clicks away and this can warp young people's views of what is normal and acceptable sexual behavior,” he told London’s Independent newspaper. "We need good quality, age appropriate education in schools to help young people develop healthy, positive relationships with each other, so that children understand consent, do not feel so pressurized to behave in a sexualized way, and respect themselves and others."
SOURCES: The Independent, Daily Telegraph