Tuesday, March 31, 2009

doing what I am required to do

Everyone in education knows that teachers are mandated reporters, that if we suspect abuse and have evidence, we are required to report it.  This process is not always as cut and dry as it sounds. 

Most schools have specific procedures in place for dealing with suspected abuse.  In our building, teachers report the student to the nurse, explaining what the specific concern is.  The nurse then takes the next step, which often involves calling parents and reporting the incidents to the administration.  Unfortunately, this week began with a student showing up at school with what appeared to be several black and blue marks.  Following procedure, I talked to the student and then went to the nurse with my concerns.  

The nurse also saw my concerns and decided that the next step was to have  a conversation with the parent.  When the parent arrived at school at dismissal, she was very upset and somewhat aggressive towards me and the child.  I felt like even though I know I did what I am supposed to do that I somehow made the situation the worse.

There have been several concerns raised about this child in the past and the nurse still decided that no further action was necessary at this time.  That child went home with an infuriated parent.  And I can't get the images of those marks out of my mind, and I can't shake the emotional concerns I have for this particular child and her family.  Knowing that I did what I am legally required to doesn't change anything.

What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. I would have done the same thing and it is heartbreaking when you do what you can, and it just isn't enough. Because no matter what, that kid was going to go home. And no matter what, that parent will get mad sometimes. We can only pray that it wasn't what it looks like or that someone else will take notice and stop it from going further. Keep an eye on your student and continue to provide that extra love and support that you so clearly feel for them.

    Ugh, I can't stand the reality that a large percentage of my students would do better if I could take them home and take care of them at the end of the day.