would you call CPS?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ImaSuperTeacher, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2009

    A first grader yesterday had a complete meltdown in class. First by crying her eyes out and then maniaclly laughing out loud. She took off her shirt and her pants and started playing with herself:eek: . The whole room was evacuated (except for her).

    I was asked by her step-parent if the teacher would call Child protective services. I'm a 5th grade teacher. I told her that the teacher would most likely call the principal and the counselor.
    As a teacher, would you suspect this child is being abused by someone in her custodial home? This child is not in special education and does display some learning delays when at her non-custodial parent and step-parent's home. Her step-parent is very concerned.

    I have informed the step-parent that the counselor would most likely be the one that called CPS about this child if they suspected anything or if they interviewed the child and the child said anything about this.
    :help:

    :thanks:
    ImaSuperTeacher
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    This behavior sounds very odd & I'd suspect possible molestation. Personally though, I'd really hate to be the teacher who'd have to get involed in this kind of thing, NOT because I don't want to help out the innocent child, but people are so crazy these days, I don't want to be sought out & retaliated against by the crazy parents or their other family members for what they think will be "getting them in trouble" & "ruining their happy home." You know, their whole twisted thinking that, "If it wasn't for this meddlesome teacher, none of this ruckus would have happened, so we're going to get back at this teacher."

    I don't want to have to feel like I need bodyguards after I report somebody FOR SOMETHING THAT'S THEIR OWN FAULT.

    Good luck.
     
  4. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2009


    I totally agree with the crazyness of the world. The 1st grader in question is my neice. My poor sister-in-law (the step-parent) is beside herself! I just informed her of what a teacher might do in this situation. I don't know what goes on at my neice's mother's house, but I do know that she is not being abused at my sister-in-law's house (her daddy's house).

    We all (my sister-in-law's side of the family) love that little girl and enjoy having her around. I hope there is an explanation for her behavior that isn't molestation!

    ImaSuperTeacher
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oh, now you mention that she's YOUR NEICE...you didn't say that before. Well, if you do call CPS, I hope you're not ostracized from the rest of the family because they blame you for what they think to be "starting this madness".
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    The OP didn't say that she had witnessed the behavior.
    If I were the teacher in the classroom where such behavior had taken place, I would meet with the counselor and the principal. All reporting takes place through those channels at my school.
     
  7. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    I did not witness the behavior. I only heard about it from my sister-in-law. My neice goes to school in a totally different district than I teach in. My sister-in-law merely wanted to know the proper channels the teacher would be going through.

    Thanks for the advice! Keep it coming!
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Right, I understood it to be that the OP did not witness it personally. My 1st reply was a general response regarding would I, she, them, they call CPS or not. :)

    OK, now I see you're not even at the same district. That's new info.
     
  9. kalli007

    kalli007 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2009

    The step parent should definitely be expecting CPS to get involved.

    Not saying that I would or wouldn't, because that really doesn't matter - but yes yes yes she should fully expect it.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure if she is being abused. CPS would be able to investigate that, though, which is why they should be called. I think that when grown-ups are in doubt, they have a moral obligation to call. We certainly know that teachers have a legal obligation to call (and I realize that you're not her teacher).
     
  11. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Even though you're not the child's teacher, you still have legal obligation to call if you suspect any abuse is happening.
     
  12. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    In my state, we do not go through any chain of command. We are to call ourselves if anything is suspected. In this situation, I would most likely make the call.
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I am with Tiff...our District Attorney says he will go after any teacher that doesn't report and he can prove that they have concerns and get their license. A third party (principal and counselor) are not allowed to report...It has to be the person with the concerns.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Our DA just went after a preacher that knew about sexual abuse, but was "counseling" the family through the situation. The DA said that was not good enough. He also has placed fines on a teacher that wrote about concerns in a file, but didn't report it. Another teacher found it and quoted the concerns when she voiced her own concerns.
     
  15. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I suspect this is a likely interpretation of the law, and that it doesn't matter if you're not actually in her district. I'd have to look at the relevant law to really be sure, but it seems being a mandatory reporter wouldn't turn around distinctions over whether you personally were the one to have her in your class.
     
  16. CiniMini

    CiniMini Rookie

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    It all depends on where you are. At my school we are supposed to talk to the Guidance Counselor and the principal. Then, with this kind of event, the school nurse would probably get involved.

    However, if after talking to them, we don't feel satisified, we have been told by the DA we are out of line to call DHR ourselves.
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In my district, we are required to make the call. I usually ask the P if I may use her office to make the call and then I explain the situation to her afterwards.
     
  18. reverie

    reverie Companion

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    I would call. That sounds serious
     
  19. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I would call. If your sister-in-law is concerned enough to ask you about it, it sounds like there are concerns. Also, if you (or your sister-in-law) have concerns, why NOT call yourself to make sure that everything is ok in her home? Then, no one has to worry about if the school is calling or not and with the recent events there shouldn't be a question about who called or why.
     
  20. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I just took the mandated reporter class and in California the teacher is required to call as soon as possible and fill out the form within 24 hours. It is not the teacher's job to decide whether it is abuse or not - it is your job to report if you have concerns and let the specialists decide. You can tell the principal, counselor, etc. but it is the teacher's responsibility to call. It is better for the teacher to protect herself and call rather than face consequences of not calling. Poor child...I hope she gets the help she needs.
     
  21. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2009

    As a PS teacher in at-risk programs, I have called CPS often. I have protocal in place so that I can tell each family that I have a procedure to follow. In this case, my procedure would be to invite the family in to discus the situation. I would then explain that I am mandated to contact CPS, and I would like them to make the phone call with me.

    I would do it this way, because I would not assume that family abuse was the situation, but some other reason was present. And, I would hope the family would want to investigate.

    Not all cases have cooperative parents. I have placed more calls without the parents present.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would say absolutely nothing to the step parent or anyone else with a question. I would refer them to the principal.

    I agree with Mrs. R. The OP didn't witness the situation; it's all hearsay. As I read it, all she knows is what is rumored to have happened. If I were to say anything at all about it, it would be to ensure that the principal heard about it. But I would NOT say anything to anyone else.

    To comment on it might someway impede any investigation that may take place. And I would hate to have the principal hear that "Aliceacc said...." when I wasn't at all involved in the situation as it unfolded.
     
  23. lou reed

    lou reed Companion

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    Maybe I'm misinterpreting the op, but I think the sister in law was asking the op if she thinks the niece's teacher was going to call CPS, not asking OP is she herself was calling.

    I can't imagine that the kid's school wouldn't call CPS (and if they didn't, I sure as hell wouldn't want anything to do with the school!) The child is throwing every possible red flag. Maybe it's not abuse, but something is wrong and it needs to be checked out.

    I've called CPS three times - twice for students and once for a kid who I spent about 1/2 hour with for an admissions interview (she made some really disturbing comments.) For all three, no kids were taken from parents, no parents in jail... maybe I called over nothing, but that's not my judgment to make because I'm not in the position to determine if abuse is or isn't happening. CPS isn't always a family's death sentence.

    Good luck OP. It's a hard situation :(
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    But it's no picnic either.

    When my sister's marriage broke up, she moved home with 2 toddlers. (Both of whom are now married with kids of their own.) My niece was infamous for taking off her shoes. No matter what the weather, how cold or rainy or anything else, she managed to get her shoes off.

    One day she was out playing in the (fenced in) yard. The phone rang and mom ran to answer. I forget the nature of the emergency, but it kept mom on the phone for a few minutes. She could see the shoes coming off, but wasn't in a position to deal with a non-emergency in the yard because of the phone call.

    The next door neighbor called CPS, saying that my niece was being neglected.

    I won't go into detail of the anguish my mom went through for months, trying to prove she was innocent.

    OF COURSE anyone who has a real suspicion of abuse should call. But not because of something you heard about, or think you might have seen. Be willing to testify in court as to what you KNOW, what you've SEEN, what you've HEARD, first hand. Then call.

    As an added PS to the original post, I would imagine that BOTH homes will be investigated.
     
  25. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    As a parent who has two children who were abused by a step-brother. Why not suggest that the dad and step mother take the child to a doctor. They can explain the why and have a doctor check the child out. I can tell you that when my 3yr old asked me why ______ stuck his finger in her __________! I melted down, called my mom and then promptly called the doctor and took her in to the doctor's office.

    That time I did not have to talk with CPS but when my ex was picked up for child porn I did. I was actually relieved to have them come so I had back up to keep him away from our children.

    Have them be proactive, have them make the calls. If the doctor sees any signs they will get the proper authorities involved.
     
  26. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I posted on the other spot you posted about this and recommended not talking to the SM but since this is your neice I would recommend you suggest that your brother takes the child to a DR ASAP as yarnwoman suggested.
     
  27. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    I have talked to my sister-in-law about everyone's responses. She is quite distraught over the whole situation. My brother-in-law (her husband) is distraught as well. He (brother-in-law) is taking dear neice to the doctor today.

    I have an idea that the teacher most likely called CPS. I would if I were her teacher. I would call as a family member if I saw or thought she was being abused by either my brother in law or sister in law. I never witness this kind of behavior when I or my husband is around her and spending time with her and she doesn't act abnormally.

    I hope this is all investigated in a timely manner. I just feel bad for everyone involved!
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The problem with that approach is that you may be warning the abuser.

    I don't know the actual statistic, but the vast majority of kids who are abused are abused by someone they know... and that those abusers have family members who never imagined they were capable of such an act. A former close friend is now on the Sexual Offenders list for abusing a member of his family. And, no, in a million years I would never have imagined he was capable of doing it, but he did.

    If you have good reason to suspect abuse, go to the authorities, not the family. Let the investigation consider all possible suspects.
     
  29. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Whether or not CPS has been called, would you please keep us updated on this little girl. :(

    My thoughts and prayers are with her.
     
  30. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Could she be on a medication that would make her do this? I know of someone whose child took Tamiflu and it made him CRAZY like you wouldn't believe!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Couldn't it even be something likean allergic rash or an urinary infection that was driving her crazy and she felt she had to scratch or rub it to stop it?

    Remember, she's in 1st grade, so she's either 5 or 6 years old. At that age, being naked isn't always the big no-no that we adults feel it is. My 6 year old loves being naked, and hesitates as long as possible between the PJs and the school clothes.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Do any of you distrust the authorities in your area? In Florida, CPS is known for being a mess - negligence in overseeing children in custody, placing children in awful foster homes, returning children to homes when they shouldn't be. There have been deaths due to CPS' actions and inactions.

    I don't know if FL teachers hesitate to call because of the bad press or not, but I do know many people think that CPS taking custody is possibly worse than the home situation.
     
  33. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    The teacher who witnessed this behavior is bound by law to report to CPS. They will investigate. This is not normal behavior and a first grader displaying this way - well, it is a red flag for sexual abuse of some kind.
     
  34. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Whether I trust CPS or not is irrelevant. My job is not to conduct an investigation, talk to parents, decide if home is better than foster care, or determine if abuse actually happened. My job is to file a report if I feel there is a reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. It's pretty clear cut to us here in CA. I've made two calls about 14 years ago, and I don't know how either ended up.


    To answer the OP's question, I would have reported this incident if I were a witness to it. I don't know what it is like in other states, but where i live, the last thing that CPS wants to do is remove a child from the home. If the home life can be rectified, then that will be the goal of CPS. The child's life has to be in imminent danger for CPS to remove the child from the home. I hope this turns out to be nothing more than a case of a bad rash that HAD to be scratched. That's what I hope.


    (After reading my post, my response sounds rude to Upsadaisy. I'm sorry Upsadaisy, I don't know why it sounds like that, it wasn't my intention. It must be the laws and ethics class that I just took last quarter. We have been beaten over the head with this stuff...)
     
  35. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sam,
    I don't think Daisy will take offence at all. At least I didn't take it that way, but it wasn't directed at me either. :unsure:

    Anyhow; I like your to-the-point answer.
    We gotta remember the kids, folks. :love:
     
  36. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Update on neice

    Well, we found out this weekend that Brother-in-law didn't know that his child was in a Resource/Sped classroom. The mother (custodial parent) is not informing brother-in-law properly. So, the incident did not happen in a regular classroom.

    CPS was indeed called and they called Friday :)eek:, that was fast!!) to set up a time to interview my sister-in-law and brother-in-law seperately. My sister in law and brother in law will be interviewed the first week of November sometime.

    I do not know the results of the dr's visit. I don't imagine that I will be informed. I hope my dear neice gets the help she is so desperately crying out for.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  37. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Thank you for the update; your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as your niece.
     
  38. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I agree with tracykaliski, legal obligation to call if you suspect abuse is occurring.
     
  39. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Check your state's mandatory reporting. As a teacher you sometimes have to report. Does not matter if it is a family issue or a school issue - you are required to report or lose your licensing/certification.

    That is just the way it is. Kinda relieves the burden. We are required to report signs of abuse. Otherwise we lose our certification.
     

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