Tips for educators and administrators

South Carolina statistics show that education personnel are the second most frequent reporters of child abuse after law enforcement. By reporting their suspicions to DSS and law enforcement, educators have been instrumental in preventing and stopping child abuse and neglect.

The daily contact teachers and administrators have with children gives them a distinctive opportunity for intervention – they often become “the” trusted adult in a child’s life.

Clues in the classroom

  • A significant change in the child’s behavior, attitude or school performance is particularly noteworthy ad should be monitored.
  • A disruptive or aggressive child may be acting out of what is going on at home.
  • A withdrawn or quiet child may be a product of a similar home, but he is internalizing his problem. Rather than shouting out for help, he is whispering.
  • Poor attendance or chronic lateness can be indicative of neglect.
  • A child who is routinely unclean and wears torn or dirty clothing may be living with chaos or instability at home.
  • Disabled children often bear the brunt of adult rage or frustrations due to their special needs; pay particular attention to changes in their behavior.

For more indicators, visit our child abuse and neglect indicators page.

Tips for building a safe school environment

  • Develop positive, non-judgmental relationships with parents
  • Communicate regularly with parents concerning child’s progress
  • Talk to your students. Let them know they can talk to you about problems as home, school or in the community.
  • Offer special programs and information to students and parents on child development, stress, family living and effective, loving forms of discipline.
  • Examine your school environment and formulate and enforce a policy prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment at your school. This policy should also address verbal abuse and bullying.
  • Work to prevent violence by teaching conflict management skills.
  • Educate older children on the dangers of becoming a parent before they are ready.
  • Keep books, films, and information on child abuse readily available at your school library.
  • Provide on-going, in-service staff trainings on child abuse and neglect issues, violence, gangs and other social and community issues