Students in Advanced Child Development posted videos on Flipgrid to describe their pinwheels designed to spread information to prevent child abuse and neglect.
This year, the study of child abuse and neglect prevention in Advanced Child Development looked a little different than previous years.
Whereas normally this study would be presented by the teacher and students and then discussed and addressed within the walls of the classroom, this year students completed Hyperdoc assignments using other online tools in their homes.
Hyperdocs contain links and assignments for students to watch, read, respond, record, reflect and create. Each of these activities brought new understandings and opportunities to share knowledge.
Students read current statistics and were baffled by the amount of children suffering from abuse and neglect.
“It is so crazy that someone would treat their joy they brought into the world that way.” Kayla said.
“I feel very upset about these numbers. It hurts me that innocent children have to go through this every single day,” Abbie related.
“When parents learn they are having a kid, they need to be prepared. No kids should go through abuse or neglect,” Abigail related.
One step to stopping abuse and neglect is knowing the various forms’ definitions. Students researched and recorded definitions on a table in Google docs. Here is what they learned:
• Abuse is an intentional act committed by an adult that harms or threatens to harm a child’s well-being. Abuse can be physical (maltreatment), sexual (non-accidental exposure to sexual behavior) and/or emotional (acts, statements and threats that have a negative impact on a child’s emotional development).
• Neglect is an adult’s failure to act causing harm or endangerment. Neglect can be physical (not providing for basic needs), medical (not maintaining medical services), educational (child not registering or attending a schooling program), moral (exposure to illegal activities) or emotional (denial of proper care and attention).
Each year students research ways to prevent child abuse and neglect, pick one method to read more about, then write about the process. Each student then takes a turn reading their research for everyone in the class. This year, students still wrote their summaries, but instead of reading them aloud, they posted these to Padlet, an online bulletin board. Students could then see and read about each other’s insights into prevention programs.
As is true every year, this year students created pinwheels for prevention to share information about abuse and neglect. This year, to share their knowledge, they created short videos to describe the information on their pinwheels and posted them to Flipgrid, a video discussion website for teachers. All students enrolled in Advanced Child Development could post their video and watch other’s videos.
This year, we did get to spend some time together discussing the issue of child abuse and neglect. We used Zoom, a video conferencing app, to see each other and have an amazing conversation. During our discussion, students began to realize how important school is for so many children. They were really worried about all the children who did not have the services provided by school: shelter, food and care. In the end, they decided that they must be very aware that many children are dealing with difficulties at home and that school is really a second home. All children should be treated like family at school and given respect and consideration every day.
To share our learnings with a wider audience, students suggested using Twitter to post their pinwheels with information on how to reach out for help. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the Indiana Department of Child Services Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline today 1-800-5556.
Darkness to Light, an organization focused on preventing child sexual abuse, gives advice to those of you that would like to advocate for children: Check on yourself and your friends with children and ask how they are feeling. Look for joy in the little things and do one of your favorite things. Have an intentional conversation with your/a child and really listen to them. Read about family life, digital safety, and preventing abuse and neglect.
We must continue to face the issue of child abuse and neglect and work toward preventing it each and every day.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner