Monday, August 15, 2016

Teachers are Mandated Reporters

The Washington Post has a heartbreaking story here about a seven-year-old boy who was so hungry he was trying to sell his teddy bear for food money.  When the police investigated they found four more older boys also living in the home, which was filthy, and filled with trash and empty liquor bottles.  It's difficult to read the story without getting tears in your eyes.

 As a high school teacher for almost forty years, I'm wondering how this could have gone on for any length of time.  Surely there would have been some sign of abuse or neglect on at least one of those children.  Teachers are mandated reporters.  Did no one see anything?  A couple of the boys were old enough to be in high school.  I am never surprised that abused or neglected kids don't speak up themselves, but by high school they usually have friends, and I know that I usually learned about abusive homes from friends of the victims.  Teachers out there:  Keep your eyes open!  And don't assume that if you just tell Guidance that a report will also go out to the police.  Call the police yourself.

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