Don’t take it personally, but children tend to be eager to get out of school and go home. However, you may have a student with every reason to want to be anywhere but home:
Some of these children may be sitting in your classroom, hiding the effects behind pasted-on smiles. How can you tell if a student is an abuse victim?
A child who has been physically “disciplined” to the point of injury will likely:
If a child’s basic needs are being neglected, he or she may:
A child who is being sexually or emotionally abused may never show visible damage, but typically displays the following symptoms:
A sexually abused child may also show interest in more “mature” topics, or be more reluctant to undress for the bathroom or gym, than typical for his age.
Your school should have official policies on what to do in cases of suspected abuse, but in case these are vague or unsatisfactory:
Above all else, do not ignore your concerns. While many of the above symptoms may have causes other than abuse, nearly all of them indicate a need for some sort of professional help. And if you’re still afraid of “stirring up trouble,” consider: How would you feel if one of your students was buried this year under the epitaph: “No one wanted to get involved”?