London, Jan 4 (ANI): Brit kids as young as four are being sexually bullied and even assaulted by their classmates in school, an investigation has revealed.According to the investigation, thousands of kids have been victims and perpetrators of sexual misconduct ranging from name-calling, inappropriate touching to serious sexual attacks.
The study is part of BBC One's Panorama, which explores the sexualisation of childhood and how gang culture, music, the Internet and TV are affecting how young people view the world.
Groping and the use of sexually abusive nicknames have become almost part of daily life for some pupils, according to the programme.
In most cases, offenders are not expelled.
Official figures has revealed that 3,500 students were excluded for sexual misconduct in 2007 - equating to 19 exclusions per school day - including 260 cases in primary schools. Sexual misconduct can cover anything from sexually explicit graffiti to rape.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not routinely publish a breakdown of reasons for permanent exclusions but the number kicked out of school for sexual offences is small.
"We are receiving more calls about this on our helpline," the Telegraph quoted Michele Elliott, the director of anti-bullying charity Kidscape, as saying.
"It is alarming that children as young as 10 and 11 feel that they can dominate and bully others by the use of inappropriate sexual touching. In some bullying gangs it is used as an initiation.
"We had a case where two boys in an inner city school who were constantly bullying a girl, eventually pulled her in to the boys' room and pulled her pants down.
"Children see sexual misconduct all around them in the footballers and celebrities they admire and look up to. That has something to do with the problem, as has the reluctance of parents to pull kids up for inappropriate behaviour," Elliott added.
The programme reveals that there are many cases, which are not reported because pupils learn to accept inappropriate behaviour. (ANI)