School of Education; College of Arts and Sciences
Family and Consumer Sciences--Teacher Certification
Primary Subject Area
Education, Teacher Training
Child abuse occurs when an adult demonstrates dominance over a child by mistreating that child physical, mentally, emotionally, or through neglect. This tragic issue is pervasive in the United States today and the number of children being abused continues to rise. Children who have been abused are affected in many different ways, and the effects can be both devastating and long lasting, depending on the child. Teachers are some of the only adult figures and role models that children have in their life. Since teachers see most children between six and eight hours each day, they can and should play a major role in detecting and reporting child abuse. If the child discloses abuse to a teacher, the teacher has a legal responsibility to report that abuse. If not, depending on the type of abuse a child is a victim of, there could be any number of signs or symptoms present for a teacher to detect and report. Teachers must follow certain guidelines when reporting child abuse. Once the abuse has been reported, a teacher should help with the follow-up and recuperation of the child. None of those steps can be completed, however, if teachers are uneducated about child abuse. There is a gap in teacher education programs when it comes to child abuse. If future teachers are educated, they are more likely to report child abuse and more children are likely to be rescued from the abusive situation.