This is so sad

Discussion in 'General Education' started by minnie, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    upload_2020-7-24_22-5-13.jpeg
    I understand everyone’s reasons for starting online, but I pray we go back as soon as possible for especially these kids.
     
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  3. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    School should not be the safety net for these problems. We need an increase in child protection services with associated personnel trained and with access to more effective mechanisms to deal with these issues. Shuffling kids off to school for a few hours a day does reduce but does not eliminate exposure to toxic, dangerous environments. Asking the education system to solve these problems is like giving a gun to a cop and telling him/her to use it to provide psychiatric treatment to a paranoid schizophrenic.
     
  4. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    I’m not saying we should solve these problems. But, believe it or not, schools are a big part of helping these kids since they’re with us for 6-7 hours a day plus any after school programs. For some students, we as teachers are the only support they have unless they have other services outside of school which is unlikely. In a perfect world we would have increased child protection services, but until that happens, for most of them, the support at school is all they have. It also relates to students with emotional issues who were seeing a school psychologist or a counselor. For low socioeconomic families, I doubt they see anyone during quarantine. I know it’s technically not our “problem” but school is the only safe and structured environment for some kids. Just something I wanted to share since it’s not really talked about anywhere else.
     
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  5. MissCeliaB

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    It's talked about literally everywhere right now. It's the whole justification for sending teachers and students back into unsafe classrooms, because some of them might be safer there than at home, and they need access to the resources schools provide.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Without a better explanation, I can't agree or disagree with what you are saying.

    Sure, schools shouldn't have to be the safety net. The reasons they are is because of exposure. Issues have to be identified first (1/5th of reports come from schools). What is your solution? How do you see kids this group of children being identified if not by schools?
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Agreed.

    Also the government determined that all children must attend school (except waivers for home schoolers).

    Many conversations about how to help children ends up indicating that schools are the best place to implement services for students because that is where the kids are mandated to be by law. Although you still have to chase some families down, in many cases the kids are in school.

    Now, I will say that there are services that come out of school budgets which maybe shouldn't and there could be better coordination of services between school and governmental safety nets.

    I remember lining up in schools for vaccines. The system brought the governmental services to the school because all were required to have the vaccine. They came multiple times to catch those who were absent on the day the class was scheduled or for those students who did come to school not feeling well enough to get the vaccine. While this is not about child abuse, it does show that schools often serve as the "safety net" because it is almost guaranteed in most school districts, that is where you will find the children and young adults.
     
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  8. otterpop

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    I’m fine with being a mandated reporter. That’s truly necessary. And school does need to be a safe place. However, I also agree that we are not set up to solve all problems. If that is the intention, every school should have a full time counselor, social worker, AND nurse.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I agree with this. However, what we see is that our social safety nets are often even less funded than our educational systems. Our schools have the local governmental health agency running the "nurses office" in our school system. Schools no longer have a full time nurse in the school but one that travels and clinics manned by minimally trained aids who may never have had a medical course in their entire life (of course they have some health training like cpr and such).
     
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  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The hard part about all this for me is that for the most part, kids themselves aren't at much risk from schools opening up, it's everybody that works in schools and everybody they interact with that is at risk. I don't know what the solution to that is, but I wish we could find one.
     
  11. otterpop

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    When I was in elementary school in the nineties, we had a full time nurse and a full time counselor. This was not big school (but not super small either) and was in a small town. As an adult, I have yet to see a school that has both of these positions full time. Budget cuts have happened and then happened again. The thing about budget cuts is, very rarely do they happen and then go back to normal when the school gets better funding. If a school eliminates a nurse or counselor, or moves them to part time, they will very rarely go back to having a full time position. Yet the public still expects “schools” to do these things, not necessarily realizing that means teachers because schools don’t have these staff members any longer.

    Our school doesn’t even have a nurse. Our secretary takes temperatures, puts on bandaids, and administers medications.
     
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  12. CaliforniaRPCV

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    Exactly. But instead of improving, or creating, social safety nets that address the problems more directly, we talk about opening schools.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Please share more specifics about better social safety nets and what they look like.

    The general idea is great, but the implementation and the ramifications both economic and social unintended consequences often make an idea unworkable.
     
  14. readingrules12

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    This is a good question. This is one of many reasons why I believe all schools that are doing virtual learning have some kind of video conferencing component. (i.e. Zoom) I think as teachers we need to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Yes, there are limitations compared to the classroom. Even teaching virtually, we need to do the little bit that we can to help stop abuse.
     
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  15. gr3teacher

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    I think one thing that needs to happen is a firm press of the federal government to provide the funding they've already agreed to fund. Just by funding IDEA at the level they are supposed to fund it and doing absolutely nothing else, the federal government would free up a ton of local and state level money for social services
     
  16. a2z

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    I agree that the federal government should be providing the full funding they promised. The cynic in me wonders if that money would really be used the way it was intended.

    Does your district additionally fund special education from the regular budget or do they just cut the level of services that should be going to the students? I am not saying that giving better services would not help all around, but are there really funds going to special education that would be going to social safety net services or would the additional money be spent on other things (raising salaries, improvement in the buildings, etc that are all important and relevant too)?
     
  17. Ms.Holyoke

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    If there is anything that we learned from this pandemic, it is that we need to stop expecting schools to solve all of society's problems but only fund them to meet academic needs.

    I believe that opening up schools during a pandemic will cause MORE harm to childrens' mental health. Think about the disruptions to learning due to quarantines, teachers getting sick/dying, and parents/family member's getting sick/dying. Children see school as a social activity...it is going to be so traumatizing with everyone wearing masks, distancing, not being able to move, etc. and it is better for students to stay home and learn from home until we can go back to normal
    .
    We need to find another way to address issues with abuse, etc. This is not the school's job.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Suggestion as to what that other way is?
     
  19. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    It’s so disheartening to read that some of you are just saying, “eh...” to these kids. I work in an area where parents may not be physically or emotionally abusive, but they just don’t care about the social well being of their kids. Sure, they feed them and clothe them, (some barely do that) but in terms of helping them be a well rounded kid, they don’t care. And yes, I know, I know...it’s not our job. Blah blah blah. So isn’t a lot of other things we do. Sure you can do zoom meeting, but the kids that are at risk...their parents won’t see to it that they join because they’re too busy getting high or working two jobs (I do know parents that work two jobs and STILL meet all of their kids needs, just not in our area as much). That’s the thing that gets me, no matter what great online program we throw at them, some kids will drop off the face of the earth until we go back. And then, we’ll have to put them back together again...not just academically even though the emotionally and mental well being of these kids aren’t “our problem.” For some of these kids, teacher are all they have. Period. Until our screwed up society gets better, teachers will always have that burden on them. I feel
    like those kids will be lost to us.

    It is what it is. I just know kids who NEED school because it’s more stable than their screwed up home life.


    But it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says, these kids won’t get what they need until we get a vaccine. And I’m sure there will still be people who won’t feel safe going back.

    I know the response to this will always be “it’s not safe to go back.” But for some kids, it safer to go back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  20. Ms.Holyoke

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    -More social workers to go to homes and check in on and evaluate their living situation.
    -Universal Healthcare for all
    -Make sure children/families that need it are provided with food
    -Provide families with $$ so one parent can stay home with their child and support them
    -We can provide outdoor, socially distanced, small group meetings for children
    and I am sure there are many people have more ideas.

    How is having kids in school for 6 hours a day going to solve these problems?
    The trauma of a socially distanced education (6 ft apart, masks on always, no group work, etc.) and the trauma of teachers /family members getting sick and dying is MUCH greater than online learning for a year.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

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    Yes! I hate that this is what it has become, but it has. We are increasingly expected to fix problems with failures in family and society with less and less funding. I don't know the answer, but I don't expect that sending them back to school during a pandemic is it.

    I also worry about families of our students because we have many, many children living with grandparents, great-grandparent, and great aunt/uncle or other older and/or ill family members.
     
  22. CaliforniaRPCV

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    Increase funds and resources (I guess that's the same thing) to provide more social services to address child abuse, homelessness, nutrition. Increasing services to reduce homelessness and nutrition issues are highly likely to reduce stress and resulting child abuse. For example, keep that $600 a month coming so some people can pay rent and avoid eviction. "Some", that isn't exactly a complete solution since unemployment doesn't cast a wide enough net.

    I drew a parallel between police and schools for a reason. Both are being asked to provide services they are not equipped to provide, even in more normal times. That isn't a good strategy. It doesn't really solve problems, it just makes people think something is being done. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. The paranoid schizophrenic is not treated. He or she gets killed, because that is what you trained and equipped the officer to do.

    School personnel are mandatory reporters, as pointed out in the original post. They are not especially equipped to actually do anything other than report (and lacking training in identification of problems, I wonder about that). There may be exceptions with some schools having social workers on site or well trained counselors - anybody have information on that? But in general, as pointed out in other posts above, schools' ability to respond are shrinking rather than expanding, simple example, disappearance of school nurses.

    Let us consider school re-opening though, "Safely". How many schools have the increased funding to put in place additional safety measures? What exactly are effective additional safety measures? It seems to me that "safe re-opening" is a real crap shoot. I don't think anybody knows what that is. This thing is just too new. So, to limit those unintended consequences, caution is in order.
     
  23. gr3teacher

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    It absolutely sucks all around. I promise me, you will never hear me say otherwise. But if I have to choose between the health of myself and my family, and the health of other people, I'm sorry, but that's an easy decision.
     
  24. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    In this case, the health of you and your family and the health of other people are one and the same. If you and yours are impacted, it will be the same for those other people.
     
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  25. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    I did a "like" on this. But I have to say it deserves more that that.
     
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  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You list wonderful ideas, and I agree with most of them.

    The discussion was getting kids back in school so they can be identified. (identification and reports of abuse are down by 20%) Those identified already have social workers coming to their homes. Maybe not often enough, but they are on the radar.

    Having them in school doesn't solve abuse and poverty on its own, but the point was that the abused are going unnoticed because their daily safety net is gone.

    I do like the idea of outdoor socially distanced meetings, but how can you make a parent participate? New laws stating all parents must take their child to the government distinguished meeting group on specific days? Sounds a lot like the governmental mandate to attend school, just with social distancing added in and outside.
     
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  27. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I agree that much beyond what school can do needs to be done. I was looking at this discussion based on OP's information. Identification is down because kids aren't being seen and the response that schools shouldn't be that safety net (schools shouldn't have to open for kids to be identified). So my question still is, how do you get kids identified if not by them being required by law to come in front of other adults?

    I also agree that more funding is needed to open safely. But in order to get kids identified, I don't see any other constitutional way except to get them back in school.
     
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  28. stargirl

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    These kind of arguments make me think, well what about the summer time? By that logic school should be open 365 days a year....
     
  29. whizkid

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    [​IMG]
     
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  30. otterpop

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    Right? That’s a very good point.
     
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  31. Ms.Holyoke

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    Teachers aren’t martyrs.
    I agree that many students are struggling with being at home. Going back to school now is not the solution.

    You might be willing to risk permanent organ damage or dying, but I am not and it doesn’t make me a bad teacher.
    I care deeply about my students.
    I know it is not in their best interest to come to school, risk getting a deadly virus, and risk dying or getting health complications from it or giving it to someone in their family.
     
  32. Ms.Holyoke

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    I know that my team collaborated with my counselor all summer to help students that were struggling.
    We can hire more counselors to perform virtual wellness checks on every student.
    They can call CPS if they have any concerns. They can make socially distant visits to families of students not attending wellness checks or participating in classes.
    Students would likely get more support than they would get in school with this model.

    I want to echo a previous comment...what about the summer? Also, in my first year of teaching, I had 35 children in each class.
    How were teachers in my school supposed to identify students with such classes and only one social worker?
     
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  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Yes. Every year that is a concern. You have 2 1/2 months where no one is checking on some of these kids.
     
  34. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I understand both sides of this issue. The terrifying reality that essential workers may be exposed and get sick vs non-essential workers who can drastically limit exposure if they so choose.

    Are teachers really essential workers? If so, why do they get a pass? If not, why not just say they aren't essential?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  35. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    As I said before, I do like many of your ideas. I am not saying you or your school are doing anything bad or not enough. I am just trying to figure out how a system can check on kids not yet identified (and not just waste time) if they don't see them physically away from their abusers.

    You discuss how your school deals with children they already identified. You have some wonderful things going on there.

    As for your idea of virtual wellness, it does have some merit but it also has very problematic issues.

    How do you get a virtual wellness check on a child whose family doesn't have internet connection because their bill didn't get paid or other issues?
    How do you get a true virtual wellness check with the abuser standing over the shoulder of the abused? The thing about school is that the child feels he is in a safe environment away from the abuser. You also see the child in more than a brief controlled visit.
     
  36. otterpop

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    First and foremost, my job is to educate students. I can do that online, and I feel that (with my particular population) I did that well in the spring online. I know that’s not true for all districts/schools/teachers. When considering risk management, if something can be done online, I feel that it should. So many other people are right now, and often it’s situation specific: we have doctors and nurses working in hospitals, but we also have doctors who are providing teledoc services via web cam. If employers can give the option of staying home, and if a job can be done online, I feel they should do so.

    As far as providing other services, I have a friend who is a counselor for troubled youth (not a school counselor, she’s funded by a nonprofit) who normally operates within several schools. She’s been meeting with her clients online throughout the pandemic. It’s not her preferred method, obviously, but it’s a doable way to offer services. She sees exactly the students we’re discussing here, the ones who are vulnerable and at risk of falling through the cracks. It sounds strange, and I’m not sure about all of the logistics, but my friend is a competent professional and she’s doing her job in the way that’s safest right now. It’s not ideal, but nothing is at the moment, and it’s an alternative that could work. Yes, there are some faults with that strategy (parent looking over the shoulder, for starters) but I don’t know that entire schools should be going back due to this possibility. We can get more creative with problem solving here I believe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  37. a2z

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    I am so happy your students benefited as much from your on-line as they did in the classroom. That is fantastic. I do agree if on-line works for those students there isn't a reason that can't continue. My point was about those who can't learn from on-line.

    As you said, that wasn't the case in many places.

    You discuss your friend doing her job but it not being ideal. But the real question is, is it really effective or just the safest. Is better than nothing all we should expect?

    I saw the failed model in healthcare knowing people whose cancer surgeries (treatable at the time) were put off as "elective". Now they are terminal. Sadly I know more than one. Is safest really safest? The people I know and their families don't think so.

    Take the example of getting food from the grocery store. You can do store pickup. While you lose the choice of individual selection of produce and items and the joy of walking around the store, you have your needs met. You get the food you wanted. Not as much fun (tongue in cheek here), but you really get what you wanted (provided it is available which would be the same issue if you walked in the store). Now, what if you were doing this pick up to have the safest way, but half of your produce was spoiled, the meat was warm because they were so busy that it sat unrefrigerated, and the frozen goods were half unfrozen. Would you consider the "safe" shopping trip successful even though you couldn't consume much of what was purchased? What if all the stores had was pick up to be safe and this was the best you could get? Food is essential and if what you are being given is inedible, you bet people would be up in arms.
     
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  38. Ms.Holyoke

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    Every family should receive internet for free if they don’t have it.

    I don’t know the answer to your second question.
    But I was trained to teach math and I am not a social worker or a counselor. Schools should not be the solution to solving issues with abuse in households!! We have one counselor for 700 students and teachers are not social workers, counselors or mental health professionals!
    I know that the counselors and social workers agree that schools need to remain closed. I am also sure that people trained in counseling and social work will have better ideas than me.
     
  39. a2z

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    I have not once said schools should be responsible for solving the issues in the households.

    I am saying that you can't report what seems like abuse if you don't see your students. Given that teachers are mandated reporters, they have lost the ability to do so leaving upwards of 20% of previously reported cases not reported. I am not asking how to solve child abuse in households.

    I am asking, how can they be reported if we don't see the kids?
     
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  40. Backroads

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    In my state, everyone is, in a rather technical sense, a mandated reporter. So to answer your question, we teachers wouldn't be able to report on kids we aren't seeing, but we could have some trust other members of the community would be reporting anything untowards they happen to see.

    That being said... I'm not sure many members of the community realize they are technically mandated reporters...
     
  41. Ms.Holyoke

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    I think this is a question that social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals would better be able to answer.
    I think hiring more social workers and conducting wellness checks on our students is a good start. Opening schools is not a solution. Either way, there won't be much interaction between students or between students/teachers when we open schools. Seeing as I will be 6ft away from my students at all times, it is likely that I would miss signs of what seems like abuse anyways.

    So your argument is that we need educators everywhere to risk themselves, their own children, their extended families, the students in their classrooms, their parents and siblings, and the community at large, because there are terrible and neglectful parents in this country?
     

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