Second-graders witness student engaging in sexual act during remote learning

Second-graders witness student engaging in sexual act during remote learning

TAUNTON, Mass. — Parents in Taunton are furious after their second-grade children were subjected to a sexual act by another student while waiting for a remote class to begin Tuesday.

The boy, who was not part of the class but is a student at Taunton Public Schools, jumped in front of the camera, exposed himself and began performing a lewd act while laughing, parents said.

Bobby Higgins was helping his seven-year-old daughter, a student at Galligan Elementary School, log in to her art class after lunch when he witnessed the incident on her computer screen.

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“As soon as I got in there, I could hear profanity, and I was like, ‘Something ain’t right here.’ And I started looking around, and that’s when I noticed what was going on,” Higgins said. “Immediately, I told my daughter, I said, ‘Get out of the room right now.’ And I tried to do everything I could do to close it.”

Higgins and other parents said the boy appeared a year or two older than the second-graders. Some believe he is an older brother of the student whose screen he was on.

“Some of the kids were horrified,” said Higgins. “They had their hands over their faces. Other ones were just like, they didn’t know what to do. Some kids went and grabbed their parents.”

John Cabral, Superintendent of Taunton Public Schools, confirmed students witnessed “inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature involving a student.”

“The teacher and administration acted quickly, ending the remote meeting and relaying the circumstances immediately to the Superintendent of Schools, and to other appropriate authorities, as is our protocol,” Cabral said. “Whether in a hybrid or remote learning setting, the Taunton Public Schools will continue to monitor and stress to our students the behavior expected at all times.”

Cabral said the involved student received “appropriate consequences” for his behavior but did not specify what the discipline was.

Boston 25 News has learned the Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, the district is offering counseling to students affected by the act.

While the Higgins family loves their school and teachers, they are disturbed by the incident and will make sure someone is always with their daughter when she is learning.

“It’s a very scary thing to think about, especially with two little girls in my life,” Higgins said.

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