Carroll Dragon's Breath




Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States.

What is child abuse? Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.

Physical abuse: non accidental physical injury to a child. Examples include slapping, shaking, hitting, kicking, burning, pushing, smothering, restraining (physical or chemical), and torture (may be related to ritualistic abuse and/or satanic worship). Physical abuse should be suspected if the following are present: bruises, burns, broken bones, and/or internal injuries. Further, a child who appears fearful or who startles easily may be the victim of abuse.

Emotional maltreatment: the constant belittling and rejecting of a child, the absence of a positive emotional atmosphere. Examples include verbal abuse, inadequate or inappropriate parenting, and neglect. Any of these can destroy a child's self-esteem and weaken self-concept. The “failure to thrive” syndrome is an example of the results of emotional maltreatment. Delays in emotional development and immature behavior may indicate emotional neglect.

Physical neglect: failure on the part of the child's caretaker to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or supervision. The extreme form of neglect is abandonment of a child with no regard or concern for his or her welfare.

Sexual abuse: sexual exploitation, molestation, or prostitution of a child (p. 1). Sgroi, Porter, and Blick (1982) define child sexual abuse as a sexual act imposed on a child who lacks the emotional, maturity, and cognitive development to understand what is happening and to protect him or herself. Sexual abuse may be overt or covert.

Resources: Department of Family and Protective Services Texas Abuse Hotline

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As mandated reporters, educators and other school staff must remain informed on the topic of child abuse. School personnel represent the largest professional resource for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect in Texas. Education leaders promote awareness of Texas laws and the safety of Texas students by developing effective reporting policies, programs, and employee training. Carroll ISD collaborates with local law enforcement and outside consultants and agencies when reporting abuse. Detailed information on the responsibilities and the process for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is accessible on the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) website.

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Children in the United States suffer higher rates of victimization and crime than adults. Recent research shows more than 60 percent of children younger than 18 had experienced or witnessed one or more victimizations in the past year. In fact, one in four students attending school has been exposed to a traumatic event. Child abuse is one type of victimization experienced at high rates by children. Every year there are more than three million reports of child abuse and neglect in the United States. This is considered an underestimate of actual abuse due to under reporting. Additionally, one in 10 children will be sexually abused before his or her 18th birthday, and the numbers continue to rise with the exploitation of children on the Internet. There are currently more than 40,000 chat rooms that put kids at risk of engaging with a predator online. Virtual reality, gaming and social networking sites are also dangers, and the exploitation of children begins at young ages. Be aware in order to help prevention abuse.


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The goal of schools is to educate students, making this a natural place to implement a prevention program, especially in light of the fact that trauma directly affects students’ academic achievement. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, one out of every four children attending school has been, or will be, exposed to a traumatic event. Trauma is the greatest cause of underachievement in schools, with students suffering from decreased reading ability and lower grade-point averages, as well as increased school absences, suspensions and dropout rates. School counselors, teachers, child advocates and other professionals working with children can provide interventions and prevention practices. Through the combination of education, the communication between children and the safe adults in their lives and the subsequent behavior changes that develop when children and adults are empowered to act, children will be better protected, enabling them to grow up happy, healthy, and safe.
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Researchers have found that students who are show characteristics of HOPE have greater academic success, stronger friendships, and demonstrate more creativity and better problem-solving. They also have lower levels of depression and anxiety and are less likely to drop out of school. In fact, studies suggest that having hope may actually predict a student’s future academic achievement more than having feelings of self-worth or a positive attitude towards life actually do. Hopeful students don't take failure personally. Instead, they use it to improve their performance next time. They’re also more optimistic, and, in the face of obstacles, they tell themselves, “I can do this. I won’t give up.”

Positive relationships with adults appear to be the most important source of hope for children.While parents provide the first, and arguably the most important, adult influence in a child’s life, positive, supportive student-teacher relationships are essential for student success. These transforming relationships have protective effects, enhance academic self-efficacy, and promote a sense of purpose and self-worth—not only for the children and families who benefit from these collective efforts, but also for the teachers, service providers, and administrators who serve them. Self-efficacy, or the belief in one’s ability to perform acts that will lead to achieving a goal, is essential for both the student and the teacher. Once teachers believe that every kid is capable of achievement, they must also believe that they have the ability to help make that happen. This can only happen when teachers have high expectations for all students. When teachers believe a student can perform at a high level, the student is much more likely to do so.

When students have caring adults who recognize and support their aspirations—and when they are part of a community that celebrates successes and helps them overcome challenges—they are more likely to develop a sense of well-being that makes learning possible.

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The Resiliency Project


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Braver than yesterday. Smarter today.

Stronger than challenges coming my way.

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