Not just kids' play? Claims of abuse by classmates

Not just kids' play? Claims of abuse by classmates »Play Video
Alexis shows the bruising on her arm that she says a classmate inflicted on her during recess Thursday.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Alexis Clement, who's six, shows On Your Side Investigator Anna Canzano the damage she says a classmate inflicted Thursday at recess - a red welt on her arm. Photos of the injury taken shortly after by her mom show a rash as well.
 
"He bit my arm and he twisted it," she said.
 
Alexis is referring to a boy in her kindergarten class at Kelly Elementary in Southeast Portland. Erin Clement tells me her daughter hasn't been the same since the school year began. Erin says the same boy, along with two others, have targeted her daughter and other kids in class.
 
A month ago, Erin says the boy slapped her daughter's face and spit in her eye. She says she's talked with other parents who tell her the boy's also pulled down his pants, shown his privates to classmates, and told them to do sexual things to him.
     
Frustrated because she feels the school hasn't done more to protect her daughter and her classmates, Erin called Portland police this week who told her there's not much they can do.
 
"Honestly? Two 6-year olds? I can see why they would say that but I just didn't know what to do or who to turn to and that's why I called them," said Erin.
 
Erin says her concern is also for the boy she says is acting out.
    
"Why are they not finding out what's going on to this boy at home that he's doing this to other little boys and little girls at school? That's what I think scares me the most. This little boy's going through something and nobody's protecting him." 
 
Portland police spokesman Peter Simpson confirmed to On Your Side Investigator Anna Canzano an officer spoke with Erin on Thursday night about the situation, and advised her to speak with the school about the issue. 
 
Officials at Kelly Elementary referred Canzano to Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Miles. Miles said, "We take any kind of case of bullying or inappropriately touching seriously but this is considered a private matter with a student and we can't discuss it. But if there were cases of bullying, biting or other inappropriate behaviors, students are sent home immediately and action is taken immediately."
 
She explained sometimes a suspension works, sometimes a day or two days or longer is needed to correct behavior.
 
"If a child has any type of behavioral concerns, then the teacher, school counselor, everyone involved knows that child will be put on a special plan of action, explaining why the behavior is bad, setting up consequences," she said.
 
Miles didn't know if schools would technically expel a kindergarten-age student, but if there are behavioral issues, they would make sure the child got the help they needed.
 
Oregon Youth Authority Communications Manager Ann Snyder tells KATU News there's no minimum age cut-off in Oregon when it comes to prosecution for sex offenses. She says for those who are younger, it’s up to a prosecutor, court and county juvenile department to determine what's appropriate case by case, but those children are usually given counseling. As a rule, Snyder says state youth facilities are not set up for sex offenders under the age of 12.