February 22, 2013
The Boy with the Black Eye
I just heard your call with the mom who was irate that Child Protective Services were called when her son showed up at school with a black eye (Feb. 20th podcast).
You were right on the money. I am a school nurse in an elementary school in Alaska and know for a fact that all certificated school employees (teachers, nurses, counselors, etc.) are mandated by law to report all instances of suspected child abuse and neglect. Failure to do so might result in fines and suspensions and even prison time. We are specifically NOT to confer with parents or do any kind of "investigating." The son's response to the teacher's inquiry regarding what had happened as "none of your business," would have made any alarms not just ring, but BOOM!! I have also had several parents indeed bring a child to my office to inform me of why said child might be sporting recent bumps or bruises. If these stories were suspicious or inconsistent with the type of injury displayed, I'd still make the required report. Most of the time, however, the parental concerns and explanations would make a report unnecessary.
Keep up the good work!! Thank you for your unfailing dedication to the support and protection of all children!!
Posted by Staff at 10:41 AM