Subject: Suspected Child Neglect and/or Abuse against Ann
My attention was recently drawn to one of my students, ten-year-old Ann, who appeared in school unkempt and in torn clothes. There were also noticeable bruises on her hands and legs, seemingly suggestive of having been pinned against something by a much stronger person. My inquiry to her about her state resulted in the unconvincing contention that she had fallen and injured herself while playing. Pursuant to standard procedure, I called for a parent conference but only her seemingly intoxicated mother appeared. She gave an extended version of what the child had given me; that Ann is clumsy hence her fall and unkempt state.
Evaluation of the Situation
Three important issues require a further evaluation and analysis based on the instant scenario. The first lies in the fact that both the mother and the child are lying about what had happened to her. The large bruises on her hands and legs are absolutely inconsistent with a fall as they are neither on her knees or her elbows. Further, such a major fall on the field would have been noticed by other children and talked about. Further, it would be hard for a fall in the field to tear up her attire as it was and also create varying types of dirt. It is clear that both the dirt in her dress and the bruises on her body are the result of a series of incidents and not a singular one. The fact that both mother and daughter are lying is, therefore, a cause for alarm. The second issue lies in the fact that only the mother came for the conference and she also seemed intoxicated. Further, in the presence of the mother, the child seemed uneasy and would not hold anyone’s gaze. This is indicative of perhaps a desire to confess something but a fear emanating from a threat by the mother not to dare talk during the meeting. The explanation about the absence of the father was also not satisfactory.
Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.
The above scenario in the very least is suggestive that the child is undergoing psychological abuse. Avoidance of eye contact at the meeting was indicative of the existence of threats and coercion, which would definitely have adverse psychological consequences on the child (Pietrantonio et al, 2013). Secondly, the scenario points to an element of neglect. That the child would wear dirty and torn clothes, irrespective of where the dirt or tears came from is indicative that there is a parental vacuum on the life of the child. The seeming intoxicated state of the mother at the parental conference is further evidence of the same. Finally, based on the placing of the bruises, it is clear that the child is undergoing physical abuse and probably also sexual abuse. The fact that the said abuse is being covered up is indicative of the fact that it is being caused by a member of her family (Pietrantonio et al, 2013).
The law places an obligation on me as a teacher and yourself as an academic administrator to report any and all incidents of real and suspected neglect and abuse of minors (Walsh et al, 2008). In this instance, there is enough circumstantial evidence to indicate that both neglect and abuse has been visited upon Ann. More importantly, there is a high possibility that sexual abuse has also been visited upon the child, a situation that would require immediate intervention. The circumstantial evidence may not per se amount to proof that the neglect and abuse are taking place. However, the law is indicative that even suspicion alone is enough to compel a teacher and/or administrator to make a report to authorities mandated to carry out investigations and also intervene (Walsh et al, 2008). This is, therefore, a fitting scenario for making an immediate report to the said authorities.
Walsh, K., Bridgstock, R., Farrell, A., Rassafiani, M., & Schweitzer, R. (2008). Case, teacher and school characteristics influencing teachers’ detection and reporting of child physical abuse and neglect: Results from an Australian survey. Child Abuse & Neglect , 32 (10), 983-993
Pietrantonio, A. M., Wright, E., Gibson, K. N., Alldred, T., Jacobson, D., & Niec, A. (2013). Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect: Crafting a positive process for health professionals and caregivers. Child abuse & neglect , 37 (2), 102-109