I think I've lost count of the stories about how ineffectual our child abuse help line is. For those of you who don't know, it's a help-line for allegations of suspected child abuse and they supposedly investigate such claims and keep kids safe.
Here's what actually happens.
Another special ed. teacher suspects a child on her caseload is being beaten by her father. She calls the help line. They ask how old the child is.
"That's within the range of normal behavior..." They don't investigate.
It takes until her senior year for the girl to admit to her coach that her father has been raping her ever since her mother was out of the picture and in fact, she was made to sleep in the marital bed every night. She confessed in fear of the fact that her father was trying to stop her leaving for college (she got a full athletic scholarship) because then he wouldn't have her to "enjoy". She later said that school was the one place she felt safe. If the help line had only listened to the teacher, she could have been saved at least four years of the abuse.
More recently, a colleague of mine (another special ed. teacher) found out from his student that she has been molested many times by the uncle she has to live with. He touches her and she often wakes up with him standing over her. So her special ed. teacher calls the help line. They say that since the uncle hasn't actually had full intercourse with her, there's nothing to be done. Feel free to puke at any time.
And another thing. The help line will actually ignore a call if we ask a school counselor to call on our behalf. They actually led piddling protocol get in the way of saving a child.
WILL EVERYONE PLEASE STOP IGNORING THE TEACHERS??! We may not be the brightest sparks in society, but we know children and we know when they're not right. We can tell within a few minutes of being near one of our kids that something is going on.
I understand that the help line may get a lot of calls, a lot of them from spoiled little shits who think not getting a second X-Box 360 for the game room is tantamount to neglect, but how can you sleep at night saying that because the uncle didn't penetrate his niece, you're not going to do anything about it?
Merry Christmas, you heartless bitch.