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Old 11-19-2012, 07:35 PM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,164
East Coast
Primary Elementary Teacher
Originally Posted by FutureTeacher_1 View Post
Hi all,

A student told me today that he is "hit and sweared at" at home.

He does on occasion modify the truth, but never on this scale. He also usually looks unkept, messy, misses often, definitely neglected it appears.

My AP said that we shouldn't call unless we see some bruises.

I know I'm a mandatory reporter in my state but I'm worried about crossing this AP and losing my job..

Help me. I feel sick to my stomach.
I absolutely HATE calling CPS, especially after a negative experience in which the CPS represenative was dismissive of my concerns (which were pretty serious -- it was a female child who said she slept in the basement with her grandfather while mom and dad slept upstairs. She often complained that her pelvis hurt, had several untreated UTI's during the year and whenever I asked about home, she would shut down or start crying )

Anyhow, that's neither here nor there.

Bruises or no bruises, CALL. I would rather make 1,000 calls and it turn out to be nothing, than NOT make one call and a child ends up hurt or God forbide, killed. You could save a life.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:43 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,296
Originally Posted by pwhatley View Post
Eded, I usually agree with almost everything you have to say, but here I must differ. My cousins were severely neglected. My aunt had 5 children by 5 fathers, one of whom was physically handicapped. By the time the oldest was 9, she was left in charge of all of them for extended periods of time (including overnight). My handicapped cousin had an ileostomy & colostomy bag, which was rarely changed correctly, because my aunt couldn't be bothered. For weeks at a time, the kids ate Rice a Roni for supper. My mom called social services repeatedly regarding the neglect. Every time they would call & make the appointment for a home visit, the house would be cleaned up and the pantry stocked. Of course, then my aunt would change her daughter's bag correctly. Of course nothing ever happened.

Maybe what you describe is what happens in your state, but it is definitely NOT what happens in all cases. JMHO
For sure - I don't think we differ in that I believe - in many, many cases - it can be extremely helpful, and the only way (even if difficult) to provide help. So, in no way am I suggesting that it's uniformly harmful. However, it's not uniformly beneficial either. There are instances in which things go wrong, and unfortunately those aren't insignificant.

It is possible (and likely) that things vary by state, locality, etc., but I'm not convinced that there is any locality with 100% accuracy rate in identifying abuse, and I can't think of a locality where such inaccuracies would not produce harm.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:46 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,296
Originally Posted by Linguist92021 View Post
I think the whole point is that they can investigate and charges are filed ONLY if the suspicion can be substantiated.
I can see that parents can be mad / annoyed if someone comes out to 'snoop around' and accuse them of child abuse, but charges are not filed at that point.

One time my daughter went to school with all kinds of red rash on her arm. It wasn't itching, or anything, it was a reaction to something she ate at home (we think, we still don't know). But it looked horrible, as if she got burn marks by a curling iron, all over her right arm. A teacher / nurse questioned her at school, she explained what it was. I know they were suspicious, because it looked horrible, but by lunch time they realized I had nothing to do with it because more red marks came out. (after 1 day everything disappeared and we never saw it again).
If someone would have come out to investigate, I would have been a little put off, but because I didn't do anything wrong, and had nothing to hide I would not have been upset. If anything I would have been glad to know that there are people at school looking out for my daughter and other students.
It's definitely true if the inaccuracies are corrected before charges are filed, but "substantiation" is not foolproof - in situations in which there is conflicting evidence and not everyone agrees with substantiation, there is room for error and getting it wrong - either "substantiating" abuse when none occurred, or failing to substantiate when abuse did occur. Both are harmful and important to acknowledge, as lives are destroyed with either type of error.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:19 AM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,707
Central Ohio
Online English Teacher
I had to make a report of sorts last week. Many of my students are thrown out of their homes for various reasons, and again, I caught that one of my 17-year-old students isn't living with either of her parents. Thankfully, we have social workers on staff, which is a good idea with a school with a student population that rivals the size of Cleveland City Schools. They do the follow-up and always keep me updated on their progress.
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call, make

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