As part of the requirements for maintaining a teaching certificate, I took a class this weekend on 'Child Abuse Issues for Educators.' It is quite disturbing to be made aware of the realities of child abuse in our society. Some of the stories are horrific. As educators, we are considered 'Mandatory Reporters' which means we are required by law to report to CPS any reasonable suspicion of child neglect or abuse. Fortunately, we have a very good interventionist in our school, to whom we can refer any 'red flags.' In the ten years or so that I have taught, there have been about half a dozen cases from our classroom where reports have been filed. It is a difficult judgment call to file a report as I feel strongly that parents should be approached openly and honestly. However, there are times when the confrontation can add fuel to the fire, and put the child in more danger. I was reminded of Jesus' words in Luke 17: "It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little one to sin."
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