Yesha Callahan

Sexual Harassment On The Playground: Gone Are The Days of Double-Dutch & Hopscotch

When I was in 8th grade, it never ceased to amaze me how certain girls in my class felt that it was an ‘honor’ to get randomly felt-up by a male classmate, especially if he was the cute popular one. Back then, at the ages of 12/13, every one’s hormones were raging, but my mother didn’t raise a ‘fast-tail’ girl (that’s what my grandmother called them).

I remember one incident in particular and it took place during 7th period Chemistry class. Mr. Sakowitz had his typical coffee in one hand and cigarette in the other, yes my teacher smoked during class. As I made my way to my desk, I was approached by another classmate named Mustafa. Typically I tried to avoid him at all costs because he was a known culprit when it came to ass grabbing.

When I finally reached my desk, he did the unthinkable, and groped my behind. I immediately dropped my books and yelled at him. He looked at me as if I was in the wrong and called me a “bitch”. At that point, the next thing I knew, I threw a right hook and punched him dead in the eye and all I could now hear playing in my head as I’m writing this is Queen Latifah singing in my head, “Who you calling a bitch? I punched him dead in the eye..U.N.I.T.Y!”.
Once he managed to get back on his feet, the whole class was basically in tears from laughter. Mr. Sakowitz, took a drag from his cigarette and said to Mustafa, “Well, ain’t that something. Girls, maybe some of you need to take a few boxing lessons from (insert legal name) and boys, next time think twice before you try grabbing a girl”.

Now, that was back in 19_ _ and I was in 8th grade. I guess you can say that was typical pre-teen/teen behaviour. But nowadays it’s a whole different type of ball game.
Yesterday afternoon, my nephew and son were sitting at the dining room table doing their homework. My son called me in because he said he saw something disgusting happen at school during recess. He goes on to tell me that he saw a 4th grade boy put his hands down a 4th grade girl’s pants. It took everything for me not to curse out loud and say, “What the fuck!”. I asked him did he tell any of the teachers that were out there and he said he did, but they didn’t do anything. At this point, I asked my nephew if he saw the same thing, and he said yes as well.
My question is, what are parents teaching children nowadays? But more importantly, what are they not teaching their children?
Some people will blame it on the media, i.e, tv, video games, music. But parents need to be held accountable for the actions of their kids. My son shouldn’t have to come home from school and the subject of conversation shouldn’t be about the fresh-tail kids on the playground. Did I mention this was an ELEMENTARY school from K-5?
This morning I placed a phone call to the school and the Board of Education, expressing my concern about certain things that have taken place on the playground in recent weeks. I’ve also talked to the teacher who’s students were involved in the incident. Not only does it seem that Sexual Harassment training needs to take place in the workplace, but it also needs to take place in the school systems as well, because obviously some one’s parents have failed them.

  1. April 30, 2008 - Reply

    Wow, I feel sorry for this generation of kids.

  2. May 2, 2008 - Reply

    I echo the sentiments of jct. When I was in high school, I would always hear rumors about Mr. Anderson and some of the girls in the school however I didn’t know if they were true or not. Nowadays children have to be weary of other students, teachers, bus drivers, etc. It’s sad.

    Nat B

  3. May 2, 2008 - Reply

    Ok #1, I cannot believe that your teacher was smoking in class! and…
    #2, I am so glad he didnt do anything to stop you from defending yourself.

    You were right. The teacher was right. And I hope that some of the other kids’ experienced a change in behavior after you kicking dudes ass.

    I was listening to the Michael Baisden show yesterday (dont hate me) and a psychologist said that oftimes kids will begin to “act out” in inappropriate sexual manners because they have been victimized themselves. Yes, the media and the lack of responsible adult supervision do play a part, but we should keep the possibility of abuse in mind when looking at situations like this.


  4. May 2, 2008 - Reply

    i blame BET

  5. May 5, 2008 - Reply

    1. I love your blog title. I’m guessing it’s just phonetics, but it’s so cool! I also enjoy your blog.

    2. I can’t believe your teacher smoked in class either. I remember this one time I laid the smack down on a boy in my class, the teacher took us both back to the room and beat us. Lol. She was mad because he hit me and because she was there and I didn’t tell her instead of beating him.

    3. I CAN NOT BELIEVE they told the teacher the boy PUT HIS HAND down a little girl pants and nothing happened! More than anything, I’ve found that kids mimic what they see and hear. W/out the proper influences, this is what we get.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog from like 1.5 million years ago. Lol. I HAVE to see a production for colored girls. Now. That movie was the pitts!

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