Pornography is impacting our eleven year olds

I work in an elementary school in Oakland, California.  Our kids are in kindergarten through fifth grade.  Cyberspace is now a big part of their lives.  They are always texting each other.  In a good and bad way. Many of them have accounts on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.  They even ask me to friend them on Facebook (which I decline). 

Our kids have far more exposure to pornography than we realize.  There is a young lady in the fifth grade that is using her mother’s phone.  She is not accepted by the other kids and deals with this by trying to get attention.  We found out recently that she had shown a porn video on her phone to at least eight other kids at the school.   

The same girl has been competing with another girl to get the attention of a fifth grade boys.  I think he is oblivious to what is going on. The two girls started texting each other while they were on Thanksgiving break, going back forth saying “No one likes you” and “I am going to beat you up” and “I’m going to jump you”.  They then attacked each other over their skin color: “You look like a monkey” and “You’re so black”. 

It escalated when they returned after Thanksgiving and had a fight in the recess before school.  Other kids were watching them.  In separating the girls, we were able to get hold of their phones and see the texts.  There is so much ill feeling between them.  We have told them to stay away from each other during the school day while we work with the Solution Team to resolve the bullying.

 Colleen Tiffenson is a No Bully Solution Coach® and teaches in Oakland Unified School District.