Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group
Available Training

For All Educators

Promoting Child Safe Environments

This training module is designed to help Oklahoma educators create child safe schools by recognizing and preventing child abuse, neglect, and child sexual abuse.

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  • Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect Our Children
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  • Student Sexual Assault
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Neglect: The Other Child Maltreatment Too Often Ignored

A mother of a four-year-old boy was arrested for child endangerment after the neglected boy was discovered at her home. Police entered the home to search for evidence that meth was being made and sold there.

The boy, who tested positive for methamphetamine exposure, was forced to live in a closet. He described the rats and cockroaches as his "friends".

The boy described sneaking away from the closet and being punished by being forced to sit on top of a refrigerator where he was afraid he would fall if he fell asleep.

The boy's mother was not home when the deputies showed up and was later arrested. She told investigators "someone else" was supposed to take care of her son, but could not identify that person. A county judge has allowed child welfare officials to keep the boy in their temporary custody while the case is still under investigation. "Houston-area boy, 4, confined to closet says rats friends," www.ctpost.com (Jan. 03, 2018).

Commentary and Checklist

Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse in 2015, nearly 75 percent suffered neglect. Another report shows that 7.1 per thousand children were reported as victims of neglect.

Anyone can, and should, report suspected child neglect to the police or to the local government child protection agency. In 18 states and Puerto Rico, anyone who suspects child neglect must report it. In addition, most states have designated mandatory reporters such as: social workers, teachers and other school personnel, clergy, counselors, health care providers, and law enforcement officers.

To help prevent child neglect, safe adults should be aware of the warning signs. What are the signs of possible child neglect?

The child:

  • Is frequently absent from school;
  • Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses;
  • Is always dirty and has severe body odor;
  • Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather;
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs;
  • States that there is no one at home to provide care.

The parent:

  • Appears to be indifferent to the child;
  • Seems apathetic or depressed;
  • Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner;
  • Is abusing alcohol or other drugs.
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