Special Needs Child Being Bullied: How can I keep my patient safe?Register Today!
- by Lovewhatidointx Oct 13, '12After 4 yrs of staff nursing, I switched to agency nursing. My latest assignment is caring for a special needs child in a public school. I've had this child since the last school yr.
I had to report an aide for slapping a child the first month I was there. The teacher witnessed the event and we discussed it. After realizing the teacher hadn't reported it, I did.
Subsequently, the teacher denied seeing anything and the aide was returned to full duty. The special needs student was slapped for attacking another student. I have witnessed this other child choke, kick, push, hit the smallest children in the class repeatedly.
My supervisor told me not to get involved because it was none of my business.
After witnessing a 3 yr old choked until he turned blue, I went to the principal. She gave me her cell number and told me to call if I witnessed future attacks. I did as she asked twice and she did nothing.
During this school year, numerous events have taken place with potential to harm my child. I can no longer take her out of her wheelchair and allow her to sit on the rug with the other students. The new aide in the class has told other parents of incidents. The principal thinks I divulged the information and asked that I be replaced.
I'm tired of watching children be abused and looking into the faces of their parents and knowing what I know. I don't mind being replaced, but I hate that these children will continue to be abused if nothing is done.
Is there anything I can do without losing my license?
Can I tell the parents their children are being hurt if I don't give the aggressor's name?Last edit by VickyRN on Oct 15, '12 : Reason: grammar and readability
- I reported this to the special needs nurse coordinator that I directly report to. I was told to stay out of it because my job was to take care of my child. She told me that what the other kids do is none of my business. After watching the aggressor choke a child until he turned blue, I went to the principal. She gave me her personal # and told me to call her when I witnessed further incidents. I did this a couple of times with no response. I have also told the school nurse. After the teavher's aide told the injured student's mother, the injured child was moved to another class. Nobody has done anything to the aggressor. Instead, the principal requested I be replaced with another nurse. Instead of dealing with the problem, the principal told the nurse coordinator I was making her crazy complaining about the aggressor & made up a bunch of lies about me. I am sick over this. Children should be safe at school not kicked & hit daily. They are sweeping this situation under the rug. Most of the little ones in the class are non-verbal & can't tell what's being done to them. Is CPS an option for me or would I be violating HIPPA by calling them?
- Oct 15, '12 by nursel56No, you are reporting abuse. Your state may have a mandatory reporting law, as mine does. I wouldn't worry about HIPAA when a 3-year old is choked until she turns blue and the principal doesn't care. They don't have anyone who protects them, let alone advocate for them. I'll send up an extra prayer for you. Even when we know what the right thing to do is, it's awful to be placed there.
- In my state, as a nurse, you are a mandated reporter. If you see abuse or neglect happening, or have reason to believe it is happening, you HAVE to report it, or you are just as guilty as the abusers.
As for HIPAA (two As, one P), you can also report things to CPS anonymously.
The school staff are required to provide a safe environment for all the kids. If they are not doing so, they are guilty of neglecting the well-being of their charges. Call CPS and tell them what you have seen.
- Thank u for correcting me on HIPPA. For some reason, I have a mental block on the acronym even though I can tell you what it stands for. And yes, we are mandated reporters too. I don't know why I have allowed myself to be bullied by their administration. I felt as if I would be considered a passive abuser if I didn't report the incidents. My confusion was concerning the aggressor also being a special needs child. I know there are special rules that apply to the disabled & didn't want to violate them. That's why I followed the chain of command. I have searched everywhere to find out if there were any circumstances that would exclude them from being reported. I couldn't find any information regarding special needs individuals attacking each other. Only teacher's & nurses abusing them. I am so glad I finally came here for help.I have experience working with children in a state school environment & they have protocols for incidents like this. I have only been in public schools for the last 8 months. This is a different beast altogether. I have a much deeper respect for what you go through after walking in your shoes. Kudos to you warriors!Thank you both for your help.
- Oct 15, '12 by caregiver1977Maybe it is time to change schools, if that is possible. I can't imagine why school administration would put up with this.
I agree with those who said report to CPS.
- The disabled child who is the aggressor is "safe" from retribution because of his/her disability. However, the adults in the room are NOT providing for the safety of the other children in the room -- and that is neglect of their duties, and it should be reported as such.
The aide who slapped the child is guilty of direct abuse -- all the other adults who are allowing abuse to go on (either by the aide or by another child) are guilty of neglecting their duty to provide for the safety of the children under their care. Both are reportable incidents.
As for HIPAA/HIPPA -- just remember it shouldn't look like a hippopotamus when you write it. Either that, or in your head call it "hip-uh-uh" as in "uh-uh, don't do that, it's a no-no!" to help you remember it's HIP-A-A.
And bless you for devoting your days to caring for special-needs children. Such a special nurse you are to do that work!
- Changing schools is not an option for me since I work for an agency and not the school district. My student's condition requires she have constant nursing supervision while at school & treatments throughout the day. Many of these positions are filled by agency nurses due to the districts shortage of school nurses.Apparently, this isn't a new problem in this district. My student has a brother with special needs & has been hit several times. The teacher has told the mother that it isn't happening just like the teacher in our class denies any of the children being hit. My student's mother witnessed her son being hit by another child & told the teacher about it. His teacher told her that the other child didn't hit her son. She showed her the red mark on her son's arm & the teacher did nothing.My biggest concern is that if they're going to push their anti-bullying campaign, why aren't they protecting the special needs children too? It appears to me that some teachers & principals are more concerned with state test scores than the well-being of the children. I am going to file the CPS report but I'm concerned that administration will down play the severity, the case will be closed, & the problem will continue. I've seen CPS do nothing on many occasions. Any other ideas in addition to CPS?