It was called “the game.” It involved students, touching the private parts of other students at school.
Sheri Mickelsen’s fifth grade son saw it “played” in the school’s library.
“A little girl was kneeling down to get a book and then a little boy came over behind her and started tickling her,” said Mickelsen. “Then she ended up on the floor, and he was on her and would not let her up.”
According to the school, seven fifth-graders at Crestview Elementary School are at the center of the acts of inappropriate touching. It has mothers like Mickelsen worried.
“I am actually contemplating pulling them out of school and doing the K-12 program with them,” said Mickelsen.
The school said one of the girls involved in “the game” came to them Tuesday, upset about what was going on. That was when the investigation began.
“It is very important to understand what all occurred, who all was involved, and to make sure we do right by all of our children,” said Lawrence Township Spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley.
All parents at the school received text messages, parents of fifth grade students received a phone call. Three students have been suspended, but the remaining four are back in school.
“That is a problem,” said Mickelsen. “I know you have to be careful and make sure you find out the whole story, but I say you protect the kids first and ask questions later.”
Bewley said the school plans to separate the students, offering counseling and support.
“We do not think a 10-year-old should be expelled, that is not the best way for him to understand the changes that are going on,” said Bewley.
Mickelson worried if those kids are walking down the halls again, it will desensitize other students like her son.
“At this point, I would like some more information and some questions answered,” said Mickelsen.
Members of Lawrence Township School said they will err on the side of education and bring in national programs like Good Touch, Bad Touch to re-enforce the fact that inappropriate touching is wrong, and it will not be tolerated at school.