Verbal Abuse of Children in Schools
Verbal abuse can rear its ugly head anywhere to anyone, including children in a school setting. Unfortunately, it can be more than a child's peers who use name-calling or teasing to get the attention they want. In some situations, the trusted adults in the classroom who receive payment to guide our children and help them learn are the ones throwing around insults and demeaning kids. Verbal abuse can happen at school.
Unfortunately, when we are in the middle of a verbally abusive situation, many of us will not react, myself included. Knowing what I know now, I feel awful looking back at instances I know were abusive to children.
Watching the Verbal Abuse at School from the Sidelines
While in elementary school, one of my teachers decided to tell us a story about a child he saw on his drive from work. His story poked fun at a boy who was having fun on his own, pretending to play the guitar as he walked home from school. As this teacher described this child's antics and made his actions seem ridiculous, the classroom snickered and began to laugh more and more.
However, in the end, this teacher singled out a boy in the classroom as the one in his story. This negative attention humiliated this child as I sat there looking on, feeling awful for him. He did not do anything wrong. He was using his imagination and making his walk after school a little more interesting. After the teacher finished this story, many classmates continued the badgering and teasing.
Although this situation happened many years ago, this boy was a friend of mine, and I remember talking to him later and making a statement that Mr. So-and-So is a real jerk.
I Failed to Protect My Child from Verbal Abuse at School
Another instance that comes to mind happened to one of my children. My child came home from school with the tale of how a teacher was verbally abusive by demeaning and insulting them. Unfortunately, I did not handle the situation as I should have. My child came to me with a problem with their teacher's behavior, and I ended up dismissing their concerns and minimizing their feelings.
I am unsure why I took this approach and feel awful for thinking it was not a big deal at the time. However, this incident mattered to my child, and I failed to support them.
No One Is Immune
Although teachers have specialized training and education to help and guide children, it does not always happen that way. No one is perfect, and sadly, no child is immune to verbal abuse at school. It can happen from teachers, learning assistants, custodians, or even parents on the school grounds.
We must do better for the next generation. If you know a child with a verbal abuse story, take their concerns to heart. Listen to them and help them by providing support. I wish I could have supported my friend and child when I should have.
Wozny, C. (2022, June 30). Verbal Abuse of Children in Schools , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/6/verbal-abuse-of-children-in-schools
Author: Cheryl Wozny
I really appreciated this article. I find this topic to be taboo. I think it’s hard to acknowledge how widespread the problem is. Students are so often blamed for acting out at school when it’s a relationship problem with the teacher. I wrote a book called dropout: how school is failing our know kids and what we can do about it. I call attention to bullying by teachers and administrators. Thanks for writing this!