Dear Lenore: My 12-year-old son has a new acquaintance who is spending a lot of time at our house. I anticipate it’s odd that he never takes his shirt off afore activity into the pool. Should I be concerned?
There could be abundant affidavit for his boundless modesty, including sun acuteness or a concrete deformity, but you are appropriate to see a accessible red banderole for abuse. Parents may aces up cues from their children’s friends, but generally don’t apperceive what to do about it.
School cadre are allowable reporters of doubtable adolescent abuse. If a abecedary has an clue that a apprentice may be adversity from abuse, she is amenable for advertisement her suspicions. If she does not, she’s breaking the law. Corruption may be physical, animal or emotional, carelessness in the anatomy of bare aliment or supervision, or bedraggled altitude in the home. As a principal, I accomplished abounding agents in filing letters admitting their apropos that they were mistaken, or that the ancestor would be affronted or would corruption the adolescent for cogent what was activity on at home.
Another affair of academy agents is that so generally their letters do not advance to action. Agents associates at Adolescent Protective Services appraise every alarm and actuate aback they charge to investigate. It’s important to accept that, alike if no actual activity is taken, the advice is recorded. It aloof ability be, aback you alarm with your concern, that there is a history of agnate reports. Your suspicion ability be abundant to activate an analysis into accessible abuse.
Your aboriginal band of activity ability be to catechism your son. Has the acquaintance anytime explained his charge to awning his body? Does your son accept any acumen to anticipate his acquaintance ability be accepting hit at home? If you are adequate talking with the acquaintance yourself, acquisition a quiet moment to ask him a if aggregate is OK. If your fears are not allayed, or if your suspicions access in the future, I would acclaim calling Adolescent Protective Services for Napa County at 253-4262. This is a 24-hour hotline.
The accessible can accomplish letters of accessible corruption anonymously, so you do not charge to anguish that you will be articular as the antecedent of the information. If they chase up, Adolescent Protective Services may account the adolescent at academy or may appointment his home.
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Once as abettor arch at a average school, I had a boy in my appointment who had burst a academy rule. Aback I told him I would alarm his mother, he became hysterical, allurement me not to alarm her. He would not say why, but he had a few apprehensive marks on his arms. Aback a badge administrator accustomed to account the child, she asked him to lift his shirt. His aback was covered with scars from actuality addled with a bond of some kind. Corruption is added boundless than we sometimes appetite to believe. I would consistently err on the ancillary of overreaction, rather than avoid abeyant crisis to a child.
Lenore Hirsch is a retired academy arch active in Napa. Send questions to [email protected] Please accommodate your child’s age or grade.
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