One of the most serious problems in our society is the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect of our children. Children are helpless victims of abuse, and they desperately need the assistance of another adult to aid them.
Teachers across the nation are morally and legally responsible to observe children for signs of child abuse and to report their suspicions of this abuse to their respective state Child Abuse Agencies. While teachers are alert for signs of all forms of child abuse, each day of the school year, there is information which suggests that there is a relationship between the issuance of report cards and a rise in the incidence of child abuse.
Many parents give significant meaning to their children's grades on their report card. There are two situations, however, for children that increase the potential of being abused for poor grades on their report card: 1) when their parents are chronically abusive to them, because of the parent's emotional psychopathology, and 2) after a divorce, when a child is allowed to live with the non-custodial parent, with the contingency that the child will not bring home a bad report card. All forms of child abuse place the child at risk for their safety as well as their ability to focus their energy upon the task of learning.
Teachers are in the best position to aid these vulnerable and threatened children. The teacher needs to be hyper-vigilant for signs of child abuse immediately after the issuance of report cards. Children who live with a non-custodial parent with the contingency of a good report card, the teacher needs to have a conference …