SERIES III - Part 5 - Teachers' Responsibilities When Adolescent Abuse and Neglect Are Suspected

Teachers' Responsibilities When Adolescent Abuse and Neglect Are Suspected

As institutions collectively serving young adolescents of every race, creed, ethnic, and socioeconomic group, middle level schools provide an ideal environment for combating adolescent abuse and neglect. Additionally, because of their frequent, recurring, and long-term contact with the young adolescents they teach, middle level teachers are in an excellent position to serve as primary agents in the identification of young adolescents who are victims of abuse and to report these cases to child protective services (CPS) as required by law (Abrahams, Casey, & Daro, 1992). Berk (2002) estimated that the typical American student will spend nearly 15,000 hours in the school context before graduating from high school. Most of that time is spent in contact with teachers and other school personnel. Given the amount of time and contact that they spend with children and adolescents, teachers can play a strategic role in efforts to prevent and intervene in child and adolescent maltreatment (Reyome & Gaeddert, 1998).

This issue of the Classroom Management Series is reprinted with permission of the National Middle School Association and provides guidelines to understand abuse along with guidelines for reporting abuse & neglect.

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