Talking to a teacher

If things are bad at home, teachers are supposed to notice and help. But it doesn’t usually work. When I was 16 my mum abandoned us entirely, and things were really hard. Someone should have seen that. And my mum was verbally and emotionally abusive basically the entire time I was in school and again no one realized.
It wasn’t until I figured out something was wrong that one of my teachers saw it too. He said we could talk about what was going on with me because he’d been through the same thing.
It turned out he knew my parents were getting divorced and thought that was taking a big toll on me. It was really hard trying to explain what was actually wrong and feeling like I had to justify and prove it. It wasn’t that he wasn’t kind or understanding but I don’t know if he had actually ever dealt with this before.
This shouldn’t be the case. Teachers need to be better equipt to deal with all variations of child abuse. It’s not fair on them to be so caught off guard by it and uncertain how to act and it’s not fair to kids who are brave enough to open up. Teachers want to help and victims want to be helped so there needs to be a better system.
It can be helpful to have someone to talk to, in which case teachers are a pretty good option. The only problem is that they are mandated reporters, so they have to file with CPS if any minor is being abused. This is a problem for two reasons. The first is that it scares kids off from asking for help or talking to someone because they know how much trouble they would be in if their parents found out. The second is that teachers only seem to report physical and sexual abuse because neglect, emotional abuse, and verbal abuse seem “not that bad.” My teacher did say “it hurts as much as getting hit” but he didn’t report anything even though I was a minor. This keeps a lot of kids from getting help and perpetuates the “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” attitude towards child abuse. And certainly physical abuse is awful but so is verbal. Physical abuse hurts your body and causes you to feel fear and shame, so it does hit both targets. But so does verbal. Verbal Abuse makes a person feel worthless and this often leads to self harming (I don’t know anyone from a verbally abusive home who hasn’t cut or had an eating disorder or done whatever else).
So, I do recomend talking to a teacher about what is going but you have to measure your expectations and talk to them about how they will act on the information you give. That way you know what you will get out of the relationship and can make the most of it.


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