Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Case Study: Emotional Abuse Scenario 1

You are a participant in a student led parent teacher conference. The student is not performing up to their ability in a number of subject areas and has been non-compliant with homework and classwork. You observe the mother seemingly becoming increasingly angry as the student’s behavior is unearthed more and more during the meeting. When the mother finally does speak, she says some explicatives directed at the child as well as makes some threats about what will happen at home in terms of privileges and freedoms if the student doesn’t turn their behavior and performance at school around. All of this is done in a loud fashion and is shocking to the faculty attending the meeting. After the parent and student exit, the remaining stakeholders discuss whether what they just witnessed was emotional abuse and if it should be reported to DFCS. The school counselor offers that he has been in many meetings with the parent and student over the years and has never observed this behavior before. The counselor also observes that the situations he has been involved in with the parent and student have never been as serious as this one. The assistant principal reports that she has never observed this type of behavior from the mother across settings and circumstances. One teacher remarks that the punishments mentioned by the mom did not seem out of the ordinary and were things she had done with her own child. A couple of other teachers on the team echoed that the restrictions mentioned by the mom were reasonable.

Should this be reported to DFACS?

   Yes           No    

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