Transcript for Mother looks for answers after school accuses 6-year-old son of sexual misconduct
We turn to our "Gma" cover story and the parents searching for answers after their 6-year-old son's school accused him of sexual misconduct. 6 years old. His parents say the school alerted authorities before calling them. Erielle reshef sat down with the couple for their first on camera interview and she is back with us again this morning. Good morning, erielle. Reporter: Good morning to you, robin. The family says they are shocked and devastated by these accusations against their young son and are desperate to clear his name. They say they also hope sharing his story will prevent this from happening to other kids. A family says they're seeking justice for their little boy. He had absolutely no idea that anything had happened or that anything was wrong. Reporter: In their first on camera interview Flavia Perea and SHAWN Robertson speaking out after their son was accused of inappropriately touching a little girl in his first grade class. In November of 2019, Flavia said she got a call from the school. When the Dean of students called me on the phone she said that he had touched another little girl and that they were required to report all incidents of sexual harassment and she used the term sexual harassment twice. Reporter: Flavia says by the time she was notified the school had already alerted police who filed a report which is now sealed. It's important to distinguish between a child being, you know, sexually curious but it's not sexual in the sense of an adult sexual interaction. Reporter: Under Massachusetts law children under age 12 cannot be charged with a crime. But his parents are concerned the little boy, now 7, now has a permanent record on file with the state department of children and families and local authorities. What do you want for your son now? I want his record expunged. That should not exist. Unfortunately, when school personnel often look at a black and browning boy, they don't see a little kid. They don't see a child behaving like a child. They immediately assume the worst. They criminalized his behavior. Reporter: His parents say the boy, just 6 at the time, had no history of behavioral or disciplinary issues at school. Have you had conversations with your son will what is and isn't appropriate in the classroom? We've actually had several conversations with him about what's appropriate, what isn't appropriate. Like any parent would. It's heartbreaking to -- speaking as a black man, to send my son, our son to a place where I think he isn't safe. You never think that you were sending them out a sheep amongst wolves. Sexual abuse is a public health issue for our children, but certainly you don't want to overreach and overemployee a situation and certainly make it into something much more damaging and criminal when, in fact, it could have been handled at the level of the school between the parents. Reporter: Overnight Somerville public schools telling ABC news our teachers and staff have and are expected to follow all necessary reporting procedures and obligations as required by all relevant agencies and authorities adding, our district and our school committee are also fully committed to continuing the deep equity work that we have been intensifying over the last several years. And the state mandates that the school follow specific reporting protocol when it comes to cases of potential abuse but the family says they hope that the school will help them expunge their son's record and apologize. They also hope their son's story may serve as a catalyst for change nationwide. Robin. I know that is their hope. I'm so glad they sat down and talked with you about this, erielle. You can't blame the teachers for following rules but go back and -- It's what you said. You got to look at it in its entirety and think about, the parents, the father, what he was saying and the mother, but -- Maybe they'll do the right thing. We hope. Ginger.
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