Other than parents, teachers are often the people that children see most often. In fact, if both parents work, the children may spend more time with the teacher while they’re awake than they ever spend with their parents.
Due to this close relationship, teachers are often on the lookout for signs of domestic violence at home. However, they are not trained professionals in this area — even when they are terrific educators — and they can make mistakes. Some of the potential signs of domestic violence could point to something else entirely.
To see how this happens, let’s take a look at just one example. The U.S. Justice Department says that one warning sign of domestic violence for children who are between the ages of six years old and 12 years old is if that child has “difficulty paying attention.”
It’s not that this isn’t true. It can impact young children this way. It’s just that trouble paying attention is incredibly common with this age group. Maybe they are bored. Maybe they want to spend time with their friends. Maybe they already understand the subject and so it’s hard to pay attention because they’re not learning anything new. Maybe they have ADHD. This is just a small sampling of potential issues to consider.
After an accusation
There are plenty of reasons that children may struggle to pay attention in school. If you are accused of domestic violence or child abuse, you need to know why the teacher made that accusation, what it could mean and what legal defense options you have.