Is one of your students being abused?

Is one of your students being abused?

If you suspect that one of your students is a victim of child abuse or neglect, Indiana law requires you to report it to the Child Protection Service (CPS). Your school board rules may also require you to report the alleged abuse to your supervisor. Failure to report to CPS could result in criminal prosecution (a class B misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail) or leave you open to a large civil liability suit.

For your own protection—as well as that of the child—report any suspicions you may have right away (even if you’re not sure).

Of course, one sign or symptom may not necessarily indicate child abuse, but there are some clues that may lead you to suspect it:

  • A child who has a pattern of unexplained injuries or an inordinate number of “explained” ones.

  • A child who comes to school inappropriately dressed for the season.

  • A child who is habitually late or often absent from school.

  • A child who arrives early, or stays late because he or she is reluctant to go home.

  • A child who’s unusually fearful of adults or other children.

  • A child who goes to the bathroom with difficulty.

  • A child who’s constantly tired or thin, or shows evidence of malnutrition.