Posts Tagged ‘Child Welfare’

Teachers Who Agree With This Guy Should Be De-Registered

January 30, 2017

gavel

Agree with this guy? You don’t belong in a classroom!

 

A MALE teacher of disabled students, who has been charged with accessing child pornography on the internet, has claimed he should be able to teach again, because no children were harmed.

The Queensland teacher was putting forward an argument to get his registration suspension lifted, so he could teach again before the three charges are heard in court.

He is facing charges of possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to access and transmit child pornography.

Queensland College of Teachers suspended the teacher’s registration on December 16 last year, after he was charged.

In his submission to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the teacher, who cannot be named, did not submit the charges were unfounded.

Instead, he argued the charges were only internet-related, and there was no suggestion any child under his care had been harmed.

 

Click on the link to read The Staggering Amount of Teacher Reported Child Abuse Cases

Click on the link to read Hungry Kids are Almost Unteachable

Click on the link to read School Rewards Good Grades With an Earlier Lunch

Click on the link to read What Kids are Thankful For (Video)

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The Staggering Amount of Teacher Reported Child Abuse Cases

January 19, 2017

child-abuse

This is an indication that our teachers are vigilant, that they fundamentally care about their students and that they are really well educated about the signs of possible child abuse:

 

SCHOOL teachers are increasingly becoming child ­protection watchdogs with soaring numbers of abuse reports being made to authorities.

New figures reveal 5244 reports made by school staff were investigated by authorities in 2015-16, up from 4599 the previous year.

The data, due to be released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in the coming months, underlines the rising responsibilities of teachers.

Principals say an increased focus on domestic violence, and the inquiry into institutional child sex abuse could be driving the higher number of reports. Victorian Principals Association president Anne-Maree Kliman called for the reporting process to be streamlined, with some teachers stuck on the phone to authorities for up to an hour and other reports not immediately followed up.

“The time delay is a bother and I wonder how many calls got missed because of that,” Ms Kliman said.

“Sometimes we also get push-back from the (Health and Human Services) department asking what we think they should be doing.

“It’s not our job to be making those decisions.”

A Respectful Relationships program, aimed at tackling domestic violence, will be rolled out in schools this year.

It will include showing younger students pictures of both boys and girls doing the dishes and kicking the footy in an attempt to smash gender stereotypes, “gender literacy” and warnings about pornography for older students.

Judy Crowe, from the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals, said decades of training teachers had created a culture of reporting abuse.

“Reporting abuse is so important that it transcends concern about teachers being expected to do things that put extra work on them,” she said. “Government schools have a reasonably good record in this arena.”

The Australian Education Union’s Victorian president, Meredith Peace, said schools needed long-term state and federal funding to help the “most vulnerable” students.

The State Government last year spent $51 million on about 640 student support staff, including half who were psychologists and one in five who were social workers.

An Education Department spokesman said new standards ensured schools were “well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect”.

 

Click on the link to read Hungry Kids are Almost Unteachable

Click on the link to read School Rewards Good Grades With an Earlier Lunch

Click on the link to read What Kids are Thankful For (Video)

Click on the link to read Our Students Show us Up All the Time!

Click on the link to read Hilarious Video of Children Eating Candy

Tips for Tackling the Mental Health Stigma in Your Classroom

December 3, 2014

depression

I must admit that I have never been formally trained on how to teach a child suffering from mental health issues or even how to bring the topic up in the classroom.

Whilst these tips by Martin Williams are all within the realms of common sense, it is good to get the reassurance that you can deal with something effectively even if you were never trained to do so:

 

Talk about mental health

“Mental health was never mentioned at school at all,” says Charlotte Walker, who now writes a blog on mental health issues. “I found out I had depression aged 12 from a teenage health guide.”

Now a mother, Walker is acutely aware that there is still a worrying lack of discussion about mental health in schools. It’s a problem that can not only lead to stigmatisation, but also cause health issues to go undiagnosed. “My son’s experience is that schools focus on the ‘safer’ feeling topics, such as insomnia and exam stress, but don’t dare go into the realms of bipolar or schizophrenia.”

Walker suggests that teachers should tackle the problem by simply trying to be more candid about mental health when chatting to children. “We’ve seen that sex and relationship education doesn’t always work because it’s in dedicated sessions,” she explains. “I think it’s important to have a general spirit of openness.”

It’s also important to talk openly about what support is in place for children who are experiencing difficulties, she says. “It tends to be that you only find out what’s on offer once you’ve declared your child is having problems,” Walker says. “If the information is given out to everyone, no one is singled out for stigma or discrimination.”

But tackle derogatory language

While it’s important to encourage discussion of mental health, research has shown that the use of pejorative terms about mental health problems are common in many children’s everyday language. While this is reflective of a wider societal problem, teachers can do their bit by cracking down on language when it is used in a derogatory or abusive way.

“Discriminatory language needs to be challenged,” says Walker. “Schools have come a long way with this on homophobia, but we need challenge the use derogatory words like ‘psycho’ or ‘schizo’ and the devaluing of clinical terms.”

Consultant psychiatrist Arun Chopra has said previously that misuse of terminology leads to misunderstandings about mental health. “You would never hear it used in relation to a physical condition,” he says. “You wouldn’t hear someone being described as a bit diabetic.”

Importantly, however – as has been pointed out before – language is just the visible surface of a deeper discrimination, so tacking language alone can never be the full solution.

Be aware

Unlike physical problems, some mental illnesses aren’t so obvious. “Only a couple of teachers and a handful of friends knew I was anything other than totally fine because I hid it,” says Lorraine Davies, who suffered from anxiety and depression at school. “If I’d been schizophrenic or suicidal maybe it would have been more noticeable, so, weirdly, I might have found more support and less whispering from friends behind my back as they tried to work out why I was being ‘weird’.”

For teachers, the key is to be on the look out for warning signs, according to Dr Raphael Kelvin, the clinical lead for Minded, a website designed to help pupils and teachers understand mental health issues. He suggests that teachers brush up on their knowledge of symptoms and never ignore a child whose behaviour fluctuates.

“If teachers understand that depression can strike not just when someone is saying they’re depressed, but also with someone who’s concentration and motivation has changed, they might be able to help them.”

Kelvin says teachers need to be alert, but do not need to become psychiatrists to help. If in doubt, he says, share your concerns with parents and other teachers to get to the root of the problem.

Help children tell their story to friends

“It’s very important to have a narrative about these things,” says Dr Kelvin, “people need a story to explain how things are. When kids come to the clinic after a period of difficulty, I often try to encourage them to have a story about their experience to explain what they’ve been through to their peers and friends.

“Often they either want to tell everybody or nobody, and the responses vary. The kid who tells everybody can become the butt of insensitive remarks; but the ones who tell nobody end up feeling very isolated. So how do they talk about it to their friends and how much do they want to say? What words do they need to tell their story in a way that’s not too painful? I think those are the kind of things that teachers can support pupils with. If you hear the story of why someone is behaving in a certain way you get a depth of understanding.”

Don’t alienate them further

A child who is experiencing mental health discrimination is such a delicate issue that approaching it clumsily or ignoring it all together can intensify the problem.

Davies says that a lack of understanding among certain teachers pushed her further outside the protection school should provide. “I was asked never to attend one teacher’s classes ever again as I was often late to his 9am because my anxiety was too high for me to get the school bus. Another went out of his way to provoke me – I think he thought I was a drama queen who needed a firm hand.”

Even teachers who are trying to help need to be careful, says Wilson. They should listen closely to pupils’ social concerns and approach issues with huge sensitivity.

“For instance, there are an awful lot of children who will have nothing to do with their classroom assistant because their friends laugh at them,” he says. “You’ve got to take that on board because their self-esteem is often at such a low ebb that anything will set them off. It’s all very finely balanced.”

 

Click on the link to read A Lack of Proper Sleep Does a World of Damage to a Child’s Attention Span

Click on the link to read What an ISIS School Looks Like

Click on the link to read Using Children as Bait is Abhorrent

Click on the link to read The Outrageous Pro-Gun Picture Book for Kids

Click on the link to read Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

 

 

A Lack of Proper Sleep Does a World of Damage to a Child’s Attention Span

November 29, 2014

sleeping

As schools push for earlier starting times to align with the need for working parents to get to the office on time and getting through an overcrowded curriculum, sufficient sleep and a proper breakfast are even bigger concerns.

 

Click on the link to read What an ISIS School Looks Like

Click on the link to read Using Children as Bait is Abhorrent

Click on the link to read The Outrageous Pro-Gun Picture Book for Kids

Click on the link to read Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

What an ISIS School Looks Like

November 23, 2014

 

isis

Does the indoctrination of young children get any more brutal than this?

In some ways, class at an Islamic State school doesn’t seem all that unusual: an instructor stands at the head of the classroom teaching children to read and write. But when it’s time for physical education, instead of running track or playing dodgeball, the kids learn to handle assault rifles and kill anyone who opposes the Islamic State.

A video released Friday by the militant group shows how foreigners are assimilated into the Islamic State. In this case, it’s a group of Kazakh men, women, and children.

The video — which appeared briefly on YouTube before it was removed by the site — starts by showing a group of Kazakh men training for combat. But the majority of the footage focuses on the kids, some younger than three years old.

One scene shows an instructor teaching students how to write their names in Arabic. Later in the video, some of the children appear to be quite comfortable speaking the language, fluent enough to easily transition between Arabic and their native tongue.

According to the video, the goal is to get the children comfortable with reading and writing Arabic so they can study the Quran. Their Islamic education is supplemented with training in jihad.

“We’re going to kill you, O kuffar,” one boy says in the video, referring to nonbelievers of the Islamic State’s brand of Islam. “Insha’allah (God willing), we’ll slaughter you.”

According to the Kazakh National Security Committee, more than 300 Kazakhs have joined IS as of November 18, including 150 women. No count was given on the number of children who have joined the group with their parents. The 300 figure is likely on the conservative side, and could come from a video released around this time last year that featured about 150 Kazakh militants who said they had come to Syria with their families.

 

Click on the link to read Using Children as Bait is Abhorrent

Click on the link to read The Outrageous Pro-Gun Picture Book for Kids

Click on the link to read Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Using Children as Bait is Abhorrent

September 23, 2014

bait

What a disgusting, reprehensible and downright irresponsible thing to do:

 

An Alabama middle school is accused of using a special-needs student as “bait” in a sting operation that allegedly led to her rape.

The allegations resurfaced last week when the Department of Justice filed a brief saying the Alabama District Court made a mistake by dismissing the lawsuit brought by the girl’s parents, WAFF reports.

The botched sting was set in motion in January 2010 after the 14-year-old student at Sparkman Middle School told a teacher’s aide that a fellow special-needs student, a 16-year-old boy, had propositioned her for sex in the bathroom. The 16-year-old had a months-long history of sexual harassment and violent behavior, according to court documents obtained by AL.com.

 The teacher’s aide, June Simpson, concocted a plan to catch the boy “in the act” by getting the girl to wait for him in the bathroom. Simpson informed vice-principal Jeanne Dunaway of the plan, who court documents say did not give Simpson any “advice or directive.”

Simpson later told authorities that she felt the plan was necessary because earlier that school year, she told Principal Ronnie Blair that the boy needed constant supervision, and Blair informed her that he “could not be punished because he had not been ‘caught in the act.’”

Simpson allegedly told the girl to wait in the bathroom and instructed her, “Don’t do anything. Just get him to meet you and we’ll catch him.”

The aide later told authorities that she watched security cameras but saw neither the girl nor the boy go into the bathroom, so she gave up and left. However, the students had simply gone into a different bathroom, where the boy allegedly raped her, according to CNN.

Dunaway later testified that the 14-year-old “was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom.”

The girl, who doctors confirmed suffered anal tearing and bruising, withdrew from school and her family ultimately moved to another state. According to a press release from the National Women’s Law Center, the girl’s formerly good grades dropped and she began struggling with depression.

The boy was temporarily transferred to an alternative school before returning to Sparkman, according to AL.com

After a criminal investigation resulted in no charges, the victim’s family filed a lawsuit against the school’s administrators. But the Northern District of Alabama District Court threw the case out. Last week, the Department of Justice filed a brief in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stating that the District Court made a mistake and that the case should be heard in a different court. The National Women’s Law Center filed an additional suit against the Madison County School Board, calling the administrations response “outrageous.”

 

Click on the link to read The Outrageous Pro-Gun Picture Book for Kids

Click on the link to read Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

July 15, 2014

Courtesy of

self

I agree with nearly all these tips, especially the first one which is absolutely crucial from my experience. However, I do not advise teachers to shake their students’ hands. It is not appropriate and I would recommend teachers should desist from doing it.

 

Click on the link to read Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

Click on the link to read  Some Principals Seem to Be Ignorant About Bullying

Click on the link to read Teaching Kids to be Competitive Often Leads to Needless Pain

Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

May 19, 2014

 

 

I know I’m alone on this one.

My colleagues have let me know in no uncertain terms that I must have rocks in my head for supporting such an initiative, but it is my position that we would be better off having our lessons filmed by cctv cameras.

One interesting point from the recent Barb Williams story (video available above) is how brilliant it was that there were cameras in the hallways capturing her unacceptable treatment of the young child. What if there was no footage? How then, would we have drawn attention to her actions?

The following are reasons for my position regarding cameras in the classroom:

1. Why shouldn’t improper actions by teachers be uncovered? If you are a good, or even an adequate teacher you have nothing to worry about, but if you are a danger to your students or you are inappropriate, you will be caught and sanctioned accordingly.

2. There are rising concerns over false reporting of teacher abuse. Cameras in the classrooms will deter students from making up or exaggerating stories and there will be proof for those that have a valid case. Documentary evidence will prevent the difficult situation of “his word against mine.”

3. This initiative will deter students from misbehaving and will also deter teachers from making poor decisions.

4. Some will talk about the need for privacy. Who needs privacy? Privacy from whom? This isn’t going to be streamed on the net, it is going to be available to superiors who will use it to protect those that are entitled to protection.

5. Teachers wont like it, but our primary focus is the wellbeing of our students. When analysing the benefits of any education initiative, the impact it would have on students is paramount. If this will protect vulnerable students surely its worthwhile regardless of what teachers think.

6. This would be extremely effective in regards to children with disabilities and others that wouldn’t be able to properly convey a case of impropriety against a teacher.

 

I realise I am alone on this one but I can’t help but think of all the cases of abuse that we are unaware of because it goes unreported or cannot be proven.

 

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

Click on the link to read  Some Principals Seem to Be Ignorant About Bullying

Click on the link to read Teaching Kids to be Competitive Often Leads to Needless Pain

 

Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

May 6, 2014

 

stairs

 

A new survey tells us the same gloomy details about how unhappy our children are. It’s not that I discount their findings or wish to in any way dismiss the issues raised, but where is the companion article with ideas and initiatives for making our children happy.

The internet and other technology are not to blame for the state of our children. Blaming these things both undermines the problem and makes it harder to raise solutions.

So my message is to read this with a desire to make a difference rather than to wallow in the current state of affairs:

 

Children’s happiness drops after the age of 11 as they get caught up in modern issues such as cyber-bullying, online porn and sexting, a study has found.

Charity and youth workers surveyed almost 7,000 children over three years and found girls were far worse affected than boys.

Their self-esteem, ’emotional well-being’ and satisfaction with their community sank sharply after the age of 11, continuing to get worse up to the age of 16.

Boys’ happiness, meanwhile, remained far more stable.

The researchers blamed the march of technology as one of several factors making teenagers unhappy.

Dr Simon Davey, Programme Leader of the Emerging Scholars’ Intervention Programme, said: ‘Technology and the pace of change have accelerated pressures, made them more extreme and increased competition.

‘Girls in particular are more vulnerable to social pressures affecting their confidence and capability.

‘Measuring well-being – one of the ultimate expressions of confidence and capability – has been difficult for us but [these] well-being tool helps us take a quantitative view for the students we work with.’

The study, carried out over three years by around 50 youth charities, is due to be released on Tuesday.

In total the charities surveyed 6,890 children aged 11 to 16 – 3,176 girls and 3,714 boys – and ranked them on eight measures of happiness.

They were overall satisfaction, self-esteem, emotional well-being, resilience and satisfaction with friends, family, community and school.

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

In My Opionion Pedophiles are the Same as Murderers

March 13, 2014

cowan

Whilst it was a relief to see the evil killer of poor young Daniel Morcombe receive his guilty verdict, it came with a most horrifying revelation.

Only after a trial verdict is delivered can the criminal record of the accused be released to the public. It turns out that Daniel’s killer, Brett Peter Cowan, has a past:

Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Peter Cowan was finally found guilty when the longest-running police investigation in Queensland’s history came to a dramatic end on Thursday.

Fairfax Media can now reveal Daniel was not Cowan’s first victim.

Ten years before taking Daniel from a Sunshine Coast bus stop, Cowan lured a six-year-old boy into the bush in the Northern Territory.

Cowan viciously raped the little boy on a rusted car wreck, leaving him with severe head injuries, a collapsed and punctured lung, a deep cut at the base of his scrotum, a bloodied nose and scratch marks over his torso.

The boy was found wandering naked, dazed and distressed near a petrol station on the Stuart Highway and taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital where he was placed in intensive care.

Cowan, then aged 24, initially denied having any involvement in the attack, but confessed when questioned a second time by police.

He told police he needed help and requested to be imprisoned in the Moreton Correctional Centre in Queensland, where he could participate in a sexual offenders treatment program.

Cowan was already a repeat offender by this stage. In September 1989, Cowan took a seven-year-old boy into a public toilet in Brisbane, where he digitally and orally raped the child.

Cowan was sentenced to seven years’ jail for his assault on the boy in the Northern Territory, but his non-parole period was set at no more than three years and a half years.

How can they let a man who has raped and nearly killed a child out of prison within 4 years? Why is there such a gulf between the sentences of child sex offenders and murderers? To me they are highly comparable.
In my opinion a child sex offender should receive a similar sentence to a murderer, and should they ever re-offend upon release, they should never see light of day again.

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