6-year-old should not be charged for school bus sex crime

The last thing that you expect when you send your child off to school is that they could be the victim of sexual assault at the hand of another student. In elementary school, even the suggestion of sexual acts between two children is nightmarish and mind-boggling. Sadly, the unthinkable happened at an elementary school in Richmond, Virginia, where a 6-year-old female student was accused of sexually assaulting another 6-year-old girl on the school bus.

Warning: This post contains graphic details of sexual assault that affects children.

WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

Understandably, the victim’s mother and grandmother are outraged. I can’t even begin to fathom how I would feel if the same thing happened to my two young sons at school.

At J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School, one 6-year-old female student was accused of placing her head between another 6-year-old girl’s legs and engaging in oral sex. The school bus driver was unaware of the assault as it took place. Stuart Elementary has taken measures to separate the two girls by moving the victim to another bus route and changing classes. The school has taken disciplinary action against the offending student but has not provided any detail.

Family members of the victim are not satisfied and demand further retribution. Cheryl Tolliver, the victim’s grandmother, calls the alleged offender a manipulative and controlling sexual predator, regardless of her young age. The victim’s family hopes to press criminal charges against the 6-year-old student.

It’s understandable that the victim’s family is outraged about what happened on the school bus. I would be too. The sheer insanity of the assault makes it easy to forget that the act was committed by a very, very young girl. No matter what this kid did, 6-year-olds are not inherently bad. This child does not have an understanding of sex and should not be prosecuted for her alleged crimes.

While it’s unfair to call a 6-year-old a sexual predator, the victim’s grandmother poses an important question: Where did this child learn this behavior? It’s possible that she innocently thought it would be a good idea to “kiss down there” without knowing what she was doing. It’s also possible that she had seen oral sex on TV or the internet.

Even more heartbreaking is the possibility that this 6-year-old “perpetrator” was abused in the same way. I truly hope that is not the case. Instead of punishment, this young girl needs counseling and an investigation into her home life.

Steve Benjamin, legal analyst for NBC12, sums up the issue perfectly, “A criminal prosecution of a 6-year-old would be absolutely pointless.” In the aftermath, both kids need help.

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