Our school policy is that teachers do not make CPS referrals. Referrals instead come from the counselors and administration. Here's the situation though... I have a third grade girl who is struggling with multiplication and division. Mom and dad both know about this. She is extremely reluctant to do anything even remotely related to multiplication and division. A little odd for my room, but certainly nothing troubling. Well last Monday, I pull her out into the hallway to have a talk with her. She's very shy, and getting her to say a word out loud to me requires her to be away from the other kids. I ask her what I can do to help her. Nothing. She just says it's hard. I ask her if she's working at home, if mom and dad can help her at all. She then bursts into tears and says that her dad "hurts me if I don't answer a question quick enough." She then adds then he punches her in the arm. I don't probe any deeper than that right then, but do let her know to talk to me if she needs anything. That day, I go after school to talk to our AP, who tells me to talk to the guidance counselor. I talk to the counselor, who talks to the girl more. Per the girl, dad has punched her at least four times in the arm over multiplication. The problem is, she doesn't have any visible marks on her, and the guidance counselor tells me CPS won't do anything if there aren't marks on her. If there actually is abuse in the house though... well, it would actually explain a lot about the student. She always wears long sleeves and pants (even in summer), and always keeps her jacket with her. Her persona in class also largely fits the profile of a child who has been abused. There are cultural factors in play also... largely, dad was born in the Soviet Union. Of course, that is a generalization... and there are children who are just naturally shy and withdrawn... So... should I go with the guidance counselor, and wait (because a premature CPS referral could do more harm than good)? Should I file a report independently? I don't want to make things worse for the child, and I also don't want to make much ado about nothing (I don't know if I'd consider this student to be the best source of information about... well, anything)... but I also want to keep the child safe if there is an abusive situation going on. I also don't want to find out the hard way that I didn't meet the legal requirements as a mandated reporter.