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The Warning Signs of School Abuse

Abuse of children, whether physical, sexual, or psychological, is a problem that affects countless families every year. The fallout from abuse of any kind can stay with a child for the rest of his or her life.

Parents often teach their children to be wary of strangers, but the perpetrator is someone known to the child in the majority of cases. Abuse cases are no different, with the offender known to the victim in more than 80 percent of physical attacks and nearly 90 percent of sex offenses. We like to think of schools as safe environments, but the truth is that some portion of abuse happens there.

Children, even more so than other victims, are often unwilling or unable to come forward and tell others when they’ve been abused. That’s why it’s important for parents and others to be aware of signs that might indicate a child has been victimized.

Stay Alert to Red Flags

Each type of abuse has different effects on a child, and parents should be aware of the many potential indicators. When it comes to abuse that happens at school, there are a number of things that parents and other responsible adults should pay particular attention to:

  • Changes in behavior, such as a child suddenly expressing anger or hostility for no obvious reason
  • Difficulty sleeping or complaints of nightmares
  • Depression, new fears or anxieties, or withdrawal from activities a child previously enjoyed
  • Frequent symptoms of illnesses that might not be real, such as stomach aches, headaches, or other aches and pains to avoid going to school
  • Injuries (bruises, scrapes, cuts) that have no explanation or don’t match the explanation the child gives
  • A decrease in school performance, efforts to avoid school, or cutting classes
  • Reckless, rebellious, or defiant behaviors, including running away or even suicide attempts

All of these signs need to be taken seriously, although they could have other causes unrelated to abuse. Nearly every child experiences a rebellious period, for example, and most face emotional difficulties of one sort or another as part of growing up. But responsible adults need to stay alert to all possibilities and investigate, especially when the signs begin to accumulate.

Detroit School Abuse Lawyer

The US Department of Health and Human Services counted more than 7.2 million reports of abuse to child protective services agencies in 2015. Many of those reports uncovered no abuse, but many other cases are never even reported.

If you suspect your child is being abused at school, you should immediately speak to school authorities about it. You may also need to contact child protective services or law enforcement. You should also talk to an experienced public school abuse attorney as soon as possible.

David Christensen Law offers a free and confidential consultation to all clients to discuss their cases and understand the options. Give us a call today at 248-213-4900 or fill out the form at the bottom of the page.