California Preschool Closing After Alleged Sexual Activity Between Students
(LOS ANGELES) -- A Carson, Calif., preschool is closing after parents learned of alleged sexual activity between 4- and 5-year-olds, according to an attorney representing the alleged victims.
Some students in the preschool class at the First Lutheran Church of Carson School would engage in oral sex during naptime, in the tunnel slide on the playground and in an outside bathroom, attorney Greg Owen told ABCNews.com.
"It all boils down to a lack of supervision," Owen said. "There were times when teachers would let aides in the room for hours at a time to watch the kids. During naptime, the aides would be sleeping and the children would have been molesting each other during this time."
Church leaders said the closing was related to the school director's resignation for personal reasons and insisted the alleged sexual incidents had nothing to do with the closure, ABC News' Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported.
The California Department of Social Services cited the school for at least one of the sexual encounters and an improper student-teacher ratio.
Owen, who is representing four alleged victims, said he plans to file a lawsuit on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the school, the church, the principal, the teacher and an alleged child perpetrator.
The unnamed child cannot be identified by his or her alleged acts, according to the law, Owen said.
Richard McCarthy told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles that his 4-year-old son often received oral sex from a 5-year-old girl at school.
"He told me about all the bad things that girl had been doing to him," McCarthy said. "It went down in the classroom, it went down in the bathroom and it went down out on the playground."
At least one other boy said he received oral sex from the same 5-year-old girl, KABC-TV reported.
"Their lives will be ruined in many ways," Owen said. "And we know there are many more [victims]."
With the mid-semester closing of the school, parents are scrambling to find alternatives, but they say it hasn't been easy.
McCarthy said he's having trouble sending his son to a new school.
"There's no way I can just take him to another school and be that parent that just lets a predator loose," he said. "How else do you explain it?"
Owen said he has talked to several other parents who have the same worry.
"Parents are saying, 'My child is now a predator. Now how can I let him go to another school?" he said. "I have talked to three of the parents who have not been able to, but I would think there are schools around.
"There were many children lying there and they watched these acts. In our business and in psychological terms, that's sexualizing a child at a young age," he said.
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