Education Reform Must Include Helping Abused Children

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Education Reform Must Include Helping Abused Children

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From Ohg Rea Tone:

The downturn in the world economy has resulted in lost revenues for many government bodies – including drastic cuts to local education.  Most school districts are forced to evaluate their processes, to cut waste, to redefine their mission – essentially reforming old methods of education.  The most important asset of any local community or global country is their children.  Teachers teach – but teachers also serve as front-line social workers.  Teachers are often the first to witness the results of physical abuse of children.

Midterm elections are beginning to come alive.  As we look at our candidates for the primary election we look back at past, current and future legislation our candidates have or will endorse or propose.  Along with major media issues like Heath care, the Economy, and the War, we must also consider the usual difficult issues of modern culture:  like abortion, education, firearms, employment, and family values.

From Cole James:

Let me be clear about my bias:  As a conservative, I most generally vote Republican, but that title alone does not win me over.  If Rush Limbaugh ran against Stephen Colbert, Colbert may get my vote.  Not because I support many liberal issues, but because America does not need a person spouting random nonsense to the world.  What we need is attention to detail.

Attention to detail seems to escape many lawmakers.  Some say they are going to clean up education and preserve family values.  I’m not talking about what politicians think are family values such as gay marriage; I’m talking about real family values such as how families function, and their behaviors.  The issue of gay marriage has distracted us from the very real concern of dysfunctional families which result in physical violence to children.  If legislators are so concerned about education and families, why are so many abused children falling through the cracks of social justice?

Abuse has many faces but the content here is focusing on its physical form.  Too many times if a parent whacks their kid on the fanny in a grocery store, they are abusers and social services are at their door.   However if a child goes to school and talks about being abused or shows signs of abuse, it gets a passive glance.  What the heck is wrong with “the system”?  We spend more time, money and advertising on animal cruelty than child welfare.  We must prove proficient driving skills to get a driver’s license – and our car must past State mandated inspections – while raising a child requires nothing but the primal ability to have sex and produce a child.

Education reform is worthless unless it starts at home.  The reality is that a majority of child abuse occurs in lower class communities.  These kids get sent to school in raggedy britches and have not eaten a meal since lunch the previous day at school.  And that friends that is a reality.

Commonsense is a thing of the past and so is the definition of child abuse.  A child not eating regular meals and getting their head knocked into a door jamb is child abuse. We need to challenge this system and vote those out who do not get it.  The next time a levy comes down for education in your town; don’t think of it as another tax – look into the deeper side of the proposed bill.  Schools also need to educate children about what constitutes any kind of abuse, or at the very least identify and pay attention to potentially abused children.

Most abused children want so bad to talk but the reception is not there and they fear retaliation at home.  Our teachers need to be educated in dealing with these children and there should even be a small curriculum or class for the kids.  With computers in schools these days, a child could at least be able to go online to a kid friendly abuse hotline.  It is much easier to tell your story to a monitor than a face.

So readers I am asking you two things, one, what can we do about this and two, question your State Representatives, Senators, and local school boards on where they stand on the issue and how they will help.  Chances are if those you question and they have no immediate answer then it’s not on their agenda.

This is an issue very dear to my heart and includes all types of abuse, physical, mental and sexual to name a few.  There are several agencies and hotlines available two of the big ones are http://www.childhelp.org/

www.preventchildabuse.org

From Ohg Rea Tone:

Cole and I each have experience with childhood abuse – some personally and some witnessed.  We have been discussing this issue and felt compelled to write again on an important issue of social justice.

Teachers, Police, Doctors, Nurses, Ambulance Paramedics, and even Firemen are on the front lines of the great social battles in America.  These professions are often the first to come in contact with abuse of all sorts.  Because checking for abuse is not their primary responsibility each of these people must make on-the-spot judgments.  With increased pressure because of declining revenues each of these professions is charged with doing more with less.

In the case of elementary school teachers the class sizes are growing at alarming rates.  We believe most school districts in America have a disproportionate teacher to student ratio.  There is less time for the teacher to identify abuse and when abuse is identified there are fewer resources available to help the child.

Cole and I are firm believers that no child should be left behind – and we do not mean this as a political slogan.  No child should be left behind.  Children are much easier to reform after abuse than are hardened adults in our prison systems.  To leave a child to their own ingenuity is to foster an adult criminal.  The value of that person may be lost forever – and all of us will ultimately suffer the consequences.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. As a child (even as a young adult in my early-mid twenties) I had no idea I had been abused as a child, it wasn’t until public service anouncements became frequent on the television that it finally sunk in. In the state I lived in the late seventies or early eighties there was a public service anouncement with a little girl in the darkness with tears streaming down her face, her mother snarled at her from somewhere unseen, “Sometimes I wish you were never born.” Dozens of times I watched this commercial and something about it always caught my attention, but I really didn’t understand what the issue was for so long, I could never connect with that child until one day I finally got it, that child was me. I will never forget what a revelation that was. The realization that abuse was much more than “just” sexual abuse.

    As the years went by I pondered the various types of abuse I endured as a child and wondered why no one ever helped me. I also wondered why I never realized I was abused. It was normal to me that’s why. I had no idea other people didn’t live like I lived.

    As an adult, now in the medical profession myself, I realized that I was also victimized by the system that failed to recognize what I was enduring. Everyone from the school nurse who allowed me to rest in the office during classes for years because of my severe abdominal pains, the physical education teachers who treated me as a problem child for not having the energy or desire to participate in group activities, the psychiatrist I confided in at public health department at the age of nine. The MD’s who ran test after test on my for years because of my severe abdominal pains, fining nothing. The people who saw the welts and bruises on my legs and arms as they listened to my family bragging about how they beat me to keep me in line. I didn’t turn into a criminal, I eventually found God as a young adult and my life turned around, but long after I became pregnant at a very young age, and used and abused drugs for years. My companions were less than savory many down right dangerous. None would hurt me like my family, I didn’t have the common sense to realize the danger or trouble I could have gotton in.

    I now have a heightened sense of awarenes when it comes to danger and a genuine distrust of just about everyone. I see fewer good people in this world most people do. I see every child as a potential victim, as I know how easy it is for people to get away with abusing them. My stomach turns when I see a child with unkempt hair, dirty clothes and clothes that don’t fit them, when they appear dirty, pale, thin, and small for their stated age, when their nose is running and they have circles under their eyes, when they have bruises on their arms and legs, when they are excessively shy, fearful, whiny, or cry all the time, when they are too old for diapers, when they’re antisocial, and violent…the signs are numerous and only an incredibly stupid or ignorant person wouldn’t be able to pick up on them. They’re everywhere, and their numbers seem to be increasing. Yes, I am judgemental of people who have children they don’t seem to care for, as the precious gift they really are. My solutions are not mentionable. I am resentful of the fact that so many people feed thier children garbage if they feed them at all, that they plop them down in front of the television and buy them video games to keep them “out of their hair”, or they allow them to wander the streets seldom knowing where they are or what they are doing. Many before they are out of elementary school are exposed to nudity, sexually explicit material, and violence on a daily basis through the movies they are allowed watch on their own televisions, often in the comapny of their parent, education often takes a back seat to everything else in their lives. These kids are exposed to drugs, alcohol, and crime by the adults in their lives, it’s nothing for young children to witness illegal behavior in their own homes.

    Taking away a child’s innocents is a crime, an abuse no matter what kind you’re talking about, it’s a growing problem and no one has ever wanted to get involved, and with the worry of threat to ones personal safety if they do get involved it’s no wonder it continues to occur. The social services focus is to keep the family together, unless the the child is in obvious danger of death, the courts release parents/perps on their remorse with the requirement to get counciling, the psychiatric community fail these children also time and again. Where do you suggest we start? As sad as it is, I feel like with all the pressing issues in this world, the problem is “who cares?”

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