Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Noticing Child Abuse While Teaching Online

From Angelina Jolie, writing for the Los Angeles Times:

We now know that many schools in California and other states won’t reopen for in-person classes this year. While this is judged necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus, it has frightening implications for the psychological and physical well-being of vulnerable children.

School closures have led to a dramatic fall in reports of child abuse across the country since educators account for more than a fifth of reports of child abuse and neglect — more than any other category of reporter. One analysis found that monthly state totals of child abuse reports were an average of 40.6% lower in April and 35.1% lower in May compared with reports in those same months in 2019.

If schools remain physically closed, teachers may need training and support in identifying signs of abuse online. Family members and friends need to know that they are now the only in-person witnesses. As hard as it is for anyone to accept that someone they know or love is abusive, friends and families must have the moral strength to identify abuse and put the health and safety of a child above all else.

Read more here.

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