Issues on student abuse/neglect: a small reflection

Today I participated in a workshop on identifying and reporting neglect/issues of abuse in our students. I came into class this morning with an attitude of “I already know how to identify these concerns”, this is mostly due to my background of working in health care. However, I quickly realized that I did not in fact, “know everything” in terms of what constitutes abuse/neglect and reporting from a teachers perspective. I found that issues of neglect and abuse are not so black and white. For example, what will I do as an educator when a student’s parent simply cannot afford to buy them prescriptions glasses? Is that a form of neglect? This is the type of question that brings into play the idea of how we view poverty and its effects on the student and their families. I was reminded to not be quick, in some scenarios, to judge the parents ability of caring for their child when facing other challenges such as poverty. Rather then labeling them as neglectful, I could guide them to other resources to help, in this case, get proper glasses for said student. I realize this is just one minor facet of a heavy issue for an educator, but I feel satisfied, thus far, with some new revelations on the matter.

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