As a parent, your main priority is the safety of your child, and although you want to be able to be with them 24/7, this is not possible since you need to work to put food on the table. So what can you do? One of the best things that can help you prevent your child from suffering any harm or abuse in school is to ask your child about how their school day went routinely. Try to take time every afternoon or evening to inquire about school work, friends, teachers, and even their lunch break. Observe your child for any signs of emotional distressor changes in behavior when you ask them these questions.
If worse comes to worst and you suspect that your child is suffering from abuse while they are in school, the best thing for you to do is to communicate with a school authority like the principal and air out your concerns. The school is responsible in taking care of your child while your child is within school premises and they should take action whenever there is an issue about abusive behavior. The California Constitution states that all students should have an inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe, secure, and peaceful.
Physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse, and sexual abuse that are perpetrated by another student is something that the school should also address, especially if the abuse or harassment has already been reported and if the situation is so severe that it deprives the victim access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Abuse of students with a disability also falls under this protection, and additional provisions from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) attach some more security for students with a disability.
Schools are responsible for reporting suspected cases of child abuse. School personnel should immediately call the local police, sheriff’s department, or welfare department to report the suspected abuse and then submit a follow-up written report within 36 hours. A school district and its employees may be held liable for damages caused by failure to submit a mandatory report in cases of suspected child abuse.
As much as you want to protect your child from everything that might hurt them, there is only so much you can do and your child’s second home, the school that they attend, should be one of your partners in keeping your child safe. However, if the school fails to do this, you can always rely on the law. You may find a more detailed explanation about school liability here.