1st-grader accused of inappropriately touching classmates - CBS46 News

1st-grader accused of inappropriately touching several female classmates

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A 7-year-old boy at West Newton Elementary School is accused of touching three of his female classmates in an inappropriate way.

The girls told their teacher about the touching last week, according to Newton County Sheriff's Office Deputy Felicia Jefferson.

The parents of all involved were contacted immediately, but the rest of the parents have been kept in the dark.

Monday night, they will receive an automated phone call from Principal Dr. Takila Curry alerting them to a situation but providing few details.

The recorded statement will inform parents that there was a situation where students were touched inappropriately, but it fails to say that the contact was student to student or provide the grade level.

The recording does mention that school officials are handling the situation promptly and insists "students are safe at West Newton."

Parents outside the school on Monday were not immediately reassured. Upset they were not notified sooner, some felt the school could have told them sooner.

"I would expect the teachers, honestly, to be on top of this, and to definitely notify the parents when stuff like this happens," said Angela Cates, a parent with an 8-year-old student.

Others were not pleased the incident occurred in the first place.

"This incident should never have happened and they should have been paying closer attention to the children," said Annalethia Wright, the mother of another first-grader.

Just how closely the school district watches their students is still in question.

Attempts to meet with district officials to go over their policies and procedures for keeping track of students were fruitless Monday.

Other districts, like Portland Public Schools in Oregon, have a public document detailing their approach to minimizing the risk of such incidents.

In Newton County, the sheriff's office says they will not be investigating the claims and are leaving the punishment up to the school district. They say the boy is too young to be charged with a crime.

The district says they have removed the boy from the classroom with the girls and put him in another first-grade class.

Some parents don't think that is enough. "I don't think he should be in school until they figure out what's really going on," said Wright.

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