Facing Reality: Child Abuse

Apol0gies for my lack of posts lately, though I did start this blog with the intention of daily posts I quickly realised third year was going to take over. However, I was so excited at the emails notifying me of my new followers! I think they’re even more exciting that Facebook friend requests and probably on the same level as Twitter followers… I enjoy knowing that people are reading what I write anyway! So hello, and hopefully you’ll carry on enjoying what I have to say/write/moan about.

Basically, the biggest reason for my lack of posts since the 25th Feburary is certain assignments that I’ve been focusing on. And though I have several, it’s one in particular which is particularly grabbing my attention. One of my modules is focusing on the education of vulnerable children, and this is essentially what it says on the tin. We learn about how the education system deals with and incorporates those who fall within this category, which includes those victims of neglect and maltreatment, those in the justice system, young parents and those with disabilities. The assignments are to zone in on one of those groups and write two essays about them, the first one being a literacy review and the second researching strategies but both have to focus on the same group.

I don’t have any solid reasoning behind my choice of writing about those who are victims of neglect and maltreatment. Yes, I’ve witnessed it as many can say but this was when I was very young and didn’t understand what was going on. I guess it does relate to those occasions though since I find it more… “easy” doesn’t seem appropriate but I guess it’s the only term I can place right now… to research something I can relate to. However, I’m also realising how difficult it is to look at this area.

Essentially I know I have to keep a professional detachment from this. My essay is looking into the research already available therefore what I’m reading is in the past and there isn’t something I can personally do about these cases. Of course, that in writing seems like common sense. But reading about areas of abuse I’ve never really understood before really puts things into perspective, especially with how a teacher must have to confront such a situation.

When I was at sixth form I remember explaining to my head of year about my own problems at home. They were threatening to kick me out of school because my mum was phoning up complaining that I wasn’t going in- and in all honesty, I was playing truent. My truency didn’t relate to my homelife though, that was my dislike for school. I remember crying. I remember the panic attack turning into an asthma attack. I remember how particularly unsympathetic my head of year appeared.

But reading the research I can relate, in a small aspect, to why much worse conditions may also result in the same outcomes such as refusing to go to school. It’s not until now though that I realised what I told my head of year then, when I was 18, would of had to be reported if I had been younger. Truency itself would have still resulted in suspecion threats but if I’d spoken about the underlying causes, or in this case other incidents at home, there would have been notes being taken.

I guess for me, or any young child in school, we never appreciated how weary teachers had to be in terms of safeguarding. Of course, the system is no-where near perfect with reports of maltreatment and murders being reported on the news, but it’s made me realise how big a job teaching actually is. As Freire said students aren’t simply empty vessels to be filled with knowledge.

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