Recently, many people have heard of multiple situations at schools where children have been abused. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse know their perpetrator in some way, according to childhelp.org. This could be a teacher or even a coach that your family trusted. In 2011, an` estimated 1,570 children died from child abuse and neglect in the United States. As we all probably agree, we must see a change. (http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/NCANationalStatistics). As these abused teens grow older their maltreatment as a child will still affect them negatively. About 80% of twenty one year olds that were abused as a child met criteria for at least one physiological disorder (childhelp.org). Realize that this statistic is for children being abused in general not just in schools. As we researched child abuse in schools, we found out there were not many statistics, because not many people reported it. Children feel scared and intimidated with talking about, or admitting their situation with abuse.
Many students may experience some sort of interaction with abuse in schools or during sports, but are unaware of how to handle it. We would like to set a policy to include a curriculum in health class that talks about awareness of abuse in schools. This policy would help greatly with introducing different ideas of how to act or deal with the certain abuse situation. Today the curriculum for health class stands without any awareness of child abuse. The curriculum includes, wellness, students will acquire health promotion concepts and skills to support a healthy, active lifestyle. The next chapter is on integrated skills, making them develop personal and interpersonal skills. Afterwards, they learn about drugs and medicine abuse and awareness. Following, they concentrate on motor skill development. Lastly, they focus on fitness to keep their body healthy and physically fit. As you can tell, none of these teach the kids anything about abuse. The child abuse awareness in our schools does not exist. (http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs/standards/2/index.html) In our policy we would like to include a one week chapter on child abuse. On the first day the teacher would introduce child abuse. They would talk about what it is exactly and how child abuse relates to their individual lives. Next, on the second day the class would be mostly focused on looking at past situations that have happened. For example, you have probably heard of the incident at Rutgers University. A basketball coach, Mike Rice, has continuously abused his athletes physically and verbally. Rice has been found hitting, shoving, and berating his players with anti-gay slurs. He has previously been fined 75,000 dollars and suspended for three games. However, after a viral video was released he was fired. This video contained a mashup of all the physical abuse caught on camera (HuffingtonPost.com). They would converse on the correct ways to act and when involved in the situation. The following two days will be independent work. The kids will write a guideline for students across the nation. They will create this on what to do if ever involved with child abuse in sports or schools. These will be made into a website and posted to increase awareness about child abuse. On the last day of the child abuse chapter the students will learn correctly how to report child abuse, and how to cope with it.Staff members agreed that a curriculum like this one would be great for kids to feel more confident about the topic. Our guidance counselor stated, “Kids have to be told from adults, that it’s okay to approach people about it. They shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed or uptight about their situation.” Mr.Ince, has told us that a curriculum would help these situations (interview with Mr.Ince). Mrs.Dorry, a health teacher and nurse agreed with adding a curriculum, “Absolutely, because we talk about sex abuse, but not child abuse”. This curriculum is in high demand and is much needed.
Adding a curriculum for learning about child abuse in schools would follow the laws in the U.S. constitution and the constitution of New Jersey. (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html) and (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp) In many schools there are curriculums involving the child abuse laws that are in place right now. There should be more time spent in that curriculum, but child abuse in schools caused by teachers and coaches should also be included. Having the extra time in the child abuse curriculum would lead to more reports of child abuse in schools, which could lead to a change or addition to the state or federal law regarding child abuse in schools and on sports teams. An addition or change to the law would go a long way to stop child abuse in schools.
Of course the policy stated above will have many advantages and disadvantages. One of the big advantages would be that the children are learning about how they can report abuse and where it can happen. In a lot of cases children can be abused in their classrooms by teachers, and even by coaches. By students learning about child abuse in their curriculum, they know who to talk to if they ever get abused by a teacher or coach, and also they know what to do if they ever saw another student get abused. Another advantage of having students learn about child abuse is they can easily talk about the topic with other students, teachers, and parents. It will make them aware that there possibly could be abuse to students in class and in sports. Most kids on students may experience child abuse from teachers in school and coaches during sports but are too afraid to speak up, (https://www.competitivedge.com). This website says the real reason for coaches to abuse the kids is, “These coaches have come to mistakenly believe that the won-loss outcome of their season is far more important than the process of participation, character development and safety of their athletes,” (https://www.competitivedge.com)They believe that an athlete’s performance failure is reflective of a coaching failure. The coaches that do verbally and physically abuse their players, only care about their own needs and not the kids. As being a coach of course you would want your team to play well and win, but you want them to have fun playing that sport. If the player does something wrong like doesn’t hit the ball or doesn’t score, it will make the coach want to yell, or hit the player because they will think that the loss will result in them being bad coaches. The disadvantages of this being part of the curriculum is it may not be affective. The students might not take the information they are being told about seriously. When I interviewed my classmates, out of the 23, more than half said they would take the class about child abuse very seriously (Class Survey).. Even though my classmates said they would be very engaged into the topic, other kids could not take it as serious so it is not huge disadvantage, but still is affective. Another disadvantage is that the teachers need to change the curriculum, to make sure they can add a new one. In order for the teachers to be able to teach the students about child abuse, the school needs to hire professionals to teach the teachers which can be very time consuming and could be very costly. Finally, the last disadvantage is whatever the students say or tell their parents, is a reflection of the teacher. There should definitely be a grade that the students learn about child abuse because most likely if the teachers teach a bunch of 1st graders, they might interpret the concept of child abuse wrong, or get the wrong idea about it and then go tell their parents. The parents could then start to complain about it and how their children are learning things they shouldn’t be learning about, at this point in their life.
“The concern of the government for the health, peace, morality, and safety of its citizens.” is how thefreedictionary.com defines general welfare, a policy that is stated in the constitution. Many U.S citizens know of this law and what it does to affect our daily lives in America. It shows us that we are protected and informed by the government of national events, emergencies, or celebrations. One way the American government promotes general welfare is informing us on dangerous subjects, along with ways to avoid or to stop such acts by others. This would include terrorism, when someone is hurt, in danger or when experiencing criminal acts. Although the U.S government is very efficient, one subject that needs to be elaborated on would be child abuse. Child abuse is an extremely serious subject that the public should know more about. Everyday in America, thousands of kids are being abused by their parents, coaches, or teachers, but they are too afraid to speak out about it because they don’t know what to do. In fact, according to classes.dma.ulca.edu/winter05/154B/anti_violence.pdf,” Every 9 seconds a woman beaten in the United States.” This may seem overwhelming to think about, even when just imagining that hundreds of people commit these acts every day and get away with it. However, these horrid ways can be resolved with more education on this subject within schools. This mechanism will not only teach students what to do if abused but they will know how to prevent this as well. Thus, this will give us the opportunity to have the next generation, ready to fight and prevent abuse throughout the world.
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