Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (2)

Today, I continue with the second scenario of the doctrine of silent treatment, which is that a child is abused, particularly within the school system; the parents simply withdraw the child silently from the school without complaining to anyone in the authority. In some cases the parents may complain to the perpetrator of the abuse and expect him/her to be an impartial judge in his/her own cause. They take the word and the scripted soberness of the perpetrator for it and naively rest their case and continue to keep the child under the care of the perpetrator. You wonder, if the school is wasting its time by setting up supervisory authorities, who the parents are aware they should report the matter to.

The second scenario also plays out among colleagues within the school system, where a teacher or non-academic staff is aware of an abuse being perpetrated against a child by his colleagues and he/she simply minds her business, forgetting that he/she is a secondary caregiver with a duty of care to the child whether they are directly under her or not. He/she does not understand that one of roles as a caregiver is to be a watchdog. I call it social policing. In some cases, he/she hold a lame discussion with his/her colleague, christened, warning, which in the real sense of it, it is nothing but therapy of deception to manage his/her own guilt for not doing the right thing by reporting to his/her colleague to the appropriate authority. Such discussions are never effective and are not done for the child.   

Let me share with you two or three true-life examples capturing this scenario. A teenage child is being bullied in a school. The parents would not take the school up. They simply withdraw the child from the school and register him in another school. They do not investigate the matter to establish the truth of the matter. A friend advises them to complain to the school and request to meet the parents of the suspected bully or bullies. The friend explains that this step is necessary to find out the true state of affairs with the frequent cases of bulling reported by the child and to help the school put in a place a proper anti-bulling policy, which will protect other children from being bullied. ‘That is none of our business,’ they say, ‘other parents should worry about that. Our concern right now is our child and we have removed him from the school.’ The friend says to them, ‘so if your child again is being bullied in the new school, you would register him in another school? Have you investigated this new school to find out if they have effective anti-bulling policy and culture?’ Their response is very passive and characteristic of a typical doctrine of silent treatment practitioner, ‘we will not worry our heads about that…Let us take it one day at a time. When we get to the bridge, we will cross it, and who knows, we may never get to the bridge.’ The parents apart from the fact that they have not been fair to the school are unknown to them teaching their child how to handle issues. They are teaching him not to be fair. They are teaching him not to be thorough in dealing with issues.

A six year old boy is pushed down the stair in a school. He gets home and all her body is badly aching. He tells his mother what happened. The mother and the father go to the school to seek audience with their child’s class teacher. They are not pleased with the explanation given by the class teacher and they believe that she has a strong case of awful and gross negligence to answer. The teacher knees down and begs the parents. They close the case and leave the school. They say, they do not want to be a clog in the wheel of the teacher’s career. Their experiment does not work. The teacher begins to pick on the child, saying she is trying to protect him. The child becomes uncomfortable and is not able to learn.  The next thing they do is to remove their child from the school. They are not concerned that other children are left in the hands of this careless class teacher.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

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