Covid-19 has transferred children from a united group in one classroom to individual learners studying alone at home. This change has caused a lot of anxiety and stress for everyone. Unfortunately, there are also children, whose safety has now become questionable.
This is information for teachers and designed to motivate them to take note of the theme of safety and understand its importance for a child’s well-being. This chapter describes what child abuse is and how it affects a child.
Internal security is especially challenged when an individual or a person close to him/her is subjected to violence, abuse, and neglect.
Violence and mental or physical abuse will leave a mark of worthlessness, causing fear and concern in the individual and those close to them. The long-lasting fear of suffering causes all people, especially children, to experience toxic stress, resulting in high levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body. As a result, the child may be uneasy, may experience learning and behavioural disorders, sleeping and eating disorders, become more easily ill, and often have difficulties with friends.
The neglect of emotional needs consists of leaving the child alone, indifference to the needs and feelings of the child, and the lack of interpersonal warmth, such as the hostile attitude towards the child and his/her initiatives.
Emotional neglect can cause symptoms similar to violence and abuse in a child but can be more difficult to identify from outside. Defining basic needs such as lack of adequate clothing, nutrition, hygiene, and health care is easier for outsiders.
External security will be challenged if an individual has to worry or be afraid for his/her loved ones, for example, when he/she is seriously ill, in an accident, in the midst of financial difficulties, or other crises.
External security is also challenged when the individual’s living environment is unsafe, for example, due to crime, political unrest, war or as we have seen, a virus.
A child has less influence over his/her life than adults, so he/she needs the support of adults in situations where he/she is mistreated.
If a teacher becomes aware of violence against a child, abuse, or neglect, he/she should intervene immediately. If he/she is uncertain about the right actions, he/she should seek support from other school officials, such as discussing with those responsible for student care, such as the welfare officer. If there is a crisis in a student’s family, such as a serious illness or financial problems, it is important that the child’s situation is also taken into account in the school and supported by providing the opportunity for discussion with a safe adult.
The child can feel burdened by the situation at home, which prevents him/her from concentrating on studying. He/she can also blame himself/herself for his/her family’s problems. The ability to speak and be heard by a familiar adult is a cornerstone of building safety. It is important to communicate to the child that he/she is not alone.
There is no need for a teacher to do and know everything, but to build a working partnership with other family officials in the area.
Building cooperation is financially and in terms of time consumption ecological, while maintaining and building at the same time a regional support network for children and families.
SUFFICIENT SAFETY MAKES LEARNING POSSIBLE