Mother of kindergartener calls school response to fondling claims 'insulting'

SAN DIEGO - A mother is sharing her story about a school incident that still haunts her 5-year-old son along with her outrage at the response when she went to the school for answers.                           

10News agreed to hide the identity of Jenny and her son.

Jenny says the incident involved a kindergarten classmate during a lunch period. She came forward after seeing Monday's Team 10 report about a mother seeking a restraining order against first graders to protect her daughter.

In this latest case, an audio recording is shedding light on a mother's fears and raising eyebrows with child psychologists.

"It is my responsibility to make sure when my child is at school he is not sexually assaulted by another student," says a voice in the phone recording Jenny identifies as her own voice.

She says the meeting was held inside Doyle Elementary in University City. The meeting that took place nearly three weeks after Jenny says she had a talk with her 5-year-old son in October.

"He said the little girl in his class was tickling his private area," said Jenny.

She says her son told her the fondling – which took place at the lunch/recess period – lasted longer than a few seconds.

She went to the vice principal, who told her the situation would be addressed, but more than two weeks later, her son was still anxious.

"He wet his bed," said Jenny. "He had night terrors. He screamed and cried and wouldn't go (to school)."

She says the girl had not been moved from her son's table and a chat with the girl's mother revealed she had not been contacted by the school.

Jenny met with a school administrator and a counselor and secretly recorded the conversation to make sure it was documented.

During the conversation, Jenny says it was the counselor who said this: "The children have moved on. The children have let it go. They had a learning experience. They now know where the private areas are."

"I was insulted," said Jenny. "I was enraged. I was angered."

Child psychologist Dr. Joel Lazar says the counselor's response is puzzling since the boy was clearly still affected.

He said incidents of young children touching other children must be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

"Some children might brush it off as being playful and silly," said Lazar. "Other children might interpret it as a serious invasion of their personal space."

Jenny withdrew her son from Doyle after the meeting and says he still is reluctant to go to school. She says the recorded response from the school shows they were not treating her concerns seriously.

A representative for the San Diego Unified School District declined comment.

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