Sex at School Increasing, Some Educators Say
Sunday, November 6, 2005
Perhaps the most shocking thing about students having sex in a high school auditorium was that other students didn't find it very shocking at all.
"I glanced over and, whatever, I just let him continue on with his business," said a 16-year-old linebacker on the Osbourn High School football team who, along with a friend, stumbled upon a couple engaging in oral sex. "I stayed for five to eight minutes, just talking. We weren't worried about it. When the janitor came in, everyone started running."
Manassas school officials weren't as laid back. The students -- eight in all -- were quickly identified and suspended, and the matter prompted the small school system to confront an issue many adults would rather not face: in this case, two girls and three boys engaging in oral sex or intercourse on school property while three other boys watched, according to sources familiar with what happened.
"In all the years that I've been in education, I've never run into this one before," said John Boronkay, the school system's acting superintendent. "It's a new one."
Actually, it's not so new. According to some teenagers, sex on school property is more frequent than adults might imagine. And some adults who work with teenagers said it's happening more often these days.
There's anecdotal evidence to support that:
Two students were discovered recently having sex in an Anne Arundel County high school gym. Four students at Col. Zadok Magruder High in Rockville were arrested in June after performing sex acts in the school parking lot. A boy and a girl at Springbrook High in Silver Spring were caught "touching inappropriately" in a school bathroom. Last year, three teenage boys at Mount Hebron High in Howard County were arrested after a student accused them of sexually assaulting her in a school restroom, but charges were dropped after the boys said the sex was consensual and the girl recanted.
"Students would have intercourse on the stairwells, locked classrooms, in the locker rooms," said Ihsan Musawwir, 18, a recent graduate of Dunbar Senior High School in the District. "It was embarrassing for me to walk in on it."
Jessica Miller, 19, who graduated in June from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, said that for some students there, sex on campus is a popular fantasy -- and sometimes a reality -- particularly in the auditorium.
"It's so big, it's so dark," Miller said. "There's a lot more places to find privacy -- behind the stage and on the catwalk."
But what's the appeal? "Just being rebellious," she said. "Coming back to class and saying, 'Ooh, guess what I just did? I just had sex in the auditorium.' "
Deborah Roffman, a Baltimore-based sexuality educator, said she has been hearing more about similar occurrences in the past five years. "Schools are calling me, asking, 'What do we do? We've had this incident at our school.' "