Child Abuse Ignored By Teachers

by JWC

News Item: 
In the past three years, teachers in New South Wales, Australia have failed to report cases of child abuse and neglect in at least 44 cases. Nineteen of these cases are sexual assaults against school students. In Australia, teachers have a legal responsibility to report cases of child abuse and neglect. School principals claim they cannot get the Department of Community Services to act, so have given up reporting many cases of neglected children. More details can be found through the news feed (see Child Abuse News on this site).

My point in bringing this to your attention is that other articles on this web page highlight similar situations in California, U.S.A. It appears that the problem of teachers failing to report suspected or known cases of child abuse is not localized to one area of the world, rather it may be (many would say it is) a worldwide problem. Personally I do not lay the blame solely at the foot of the teachers. I think it is the system or lack thereof that is failing our children. Until we develop a fully functional system of reporting child abuse, followed by appropriate action, we will not overcome this problem.

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Article titled "Child Abuse Ignored By Teachers" can be found below. If you do not see the comments I've written, please be patient, as there is a system glitch regarding comments going live on my site. I assure you JWC, I have replied to your article: I posted June 2, 2008, comments titled "An issue of prevention..." Keep checking back to this page. I thank you JWC and my other visitors for your understanding while I work at getting this glitch rectified.

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Comments for Child Abuse Ignored By Teachers

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Jun 02, 2008
An issue of prevention...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

There is indeed so much more to this than teachers not reporting child abuse when it is their moral and legal obligation to do so.

We do not have enough social workers to address this problem as it currently exists. The case loads of social workers are way beyond manageable. In the USA alone, I understand that social (case) workers on average must juggle more than a hundred cases at any given time. Yes, we need more social workers. But the problem of child abuse will never be resolved by being solely reactionary.

We must be proactive. We must invest in programs that provide parenting skills to parents before they become parents; and then we must offer ongoing resources for those parents as the children grow up. We must invest in school programs that provide parenting classes to adolescents, our future parents.

We have instead cut school and social services budgets to the bone. These cuts are extremely shortsighted. They will have long-term consequences; consequences that I believe will seriously impede the ability of our future generations to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

There must be a shift in the way we look at child abuse. If we don't address the root cause, and then deliver the necessary support to parents and children alike, the problem WILL only get worse. More and more children will be abused, and more and more abused children will be ignored. Prevention is the only way to deal with this cycle.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 04, 2008
five years of teachers looking the other way in the US
by: Anonymous

It is ignored here, too. My son has been beaten by my ex-wife since he was two (that I know of). He is an egg-donor baby, hated by the woman whose body he invaded, as many egg donor babies are, even though it wasn't his fault. His kindergarten teacher finally admitted that he had been coming to school every day all year with bruises only after I put him up on a picnic table so they were almost eye level. Her ONLY response: "Well he isn't getting them here," which of course was enough testimony to convict mom, though that will probably never happen. Like many abused children, she doesn;t take him out much. Even long sleeves and pants don;t cover the marks. So school was the only place he was not with mom except for my days caring for him, and there are many, many people who know about the abuse but rightfully scared to death of DCFS, known as "The Soviet Union" in the U.S., even if they DON'T have children. DCFS is the government agency who took Michael Jackson down, making him abandon his beloved Neverland to live in exile, even though all the charges were at least dealt with. My son is now in the fifth grade, has gone to class almost every day with bruises, sometimes too many to count. Only one teacher ever raised the issue and she almost lost her job because of it. His principal back in kindergarten saw dozens of gruesome pictures and said and did nothing, other than go through them one by one and tlel me from her experience how he had sustained each wound, "That was a cigarette butt," "That looks like she hit him with the phone," and on and on. When DCFS finally did step in they destroyed his family by taking his only safe parent away, about which he said, in tears, "Why you, you're the only one who never hurt me in my life." Now his brain has been retrained and he comes to all visits sporting from a dozen to two dozenbruises in various phases of healing, yet can't remember where a single one of them came from. There's noting more I can do, apparently.

Jun 12, 2008
I agree
by: Anonymous

I agree with Darlene's comments. Prevention is the answer.

Jun 12, 2008
by: Anonymous

The Google news feature is a great addition to the site.

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