Bystander Effect: Where's The Line Between Discipline And Child Abuse?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Bystander Effect: Where's The Line Between Discipline And Child Abuse?

What would you do?

56
Bystander Effect: Where's The Line Between Discipline And Child Abuse?
Revolutionary Parent

As I was walking to my car after a long day at my internship, I noticed a mother yelling at her daughter, who looked completely helpless and scared while her arm was stuck in a cast. Her mother then took off her own shoe and hit her child with it.

As a future educator (hopefully), alarm bells immediately rang in my head. The way she was yelling, the way she grabbed her daughter's arm, the one in the cast, which made me scared that her shoulder would be dislocated. I waited around in the background with one of my coworkers just observing the disaster unfold in front of us. It was terrifying.

The mother smacked her daughter with her shoe several times. My coworker and I called security. However, in situations like these, there is not much security can do, considering that there isn't a lot of evidence and what my coworker and I perceived to be a crime, could also be perceived as disciplining a disobedient child.

Security can only call the police in the situation like the above once the child has already been beaten. While this was no doubt a crime in my mind, our legal system is not as simple as my quick judgment. I watched in horror, frozen, but scared to look away, hoping that my presence would deter the mother from continually smacking her daughter with her shoe. But the mother did not stop. Instead, she told her daughter that she did not care who was watching.

I called my own mom when I got into my car, still shaken up by the situation, and begged her to give me advice or to just let me drone on and on about it. Luckily, I grew up in an exceptional household and I was never afraid my parents would hurt me. I told my mom that I knew this could happen when I became a teacher, but expecting it and witnessing it are two completely different things.

At that moment, I just wanted to curse the world for all of the awful people who could ever do something like that to a child. And while my mom agreed with me, she reminded me to focus on the children that I could save in my future classroom by speaking up because legally, I would be obligated to. She also told me to hope that maybe a teacher would speak up for that little girl.

I don't know the whole story behind what happened at work that day, and while I am interested in finding out if the little girl is okay, I'm not entirely interested in finding out all the details of the situation. For now, I'll stay hopeful because maybe there are kids I can save and hopefully the kids I can't save, can be saved by someone else.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Pop

October — arguably the best month of the year — is finally here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones for the fall lineup. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during October.

Keep Reading... Show less

I'm so proud of Demi Lovato's new, powerful breakup ballad, "Still Have Me." After her split from fiancé Max Ehrich, she is pulling herself out from the darkness, picking up the shattered pieces, and realizing that she's got this. If that's not inspirational, I don't know what is.

Keep Reading... Show less

Trader Joe's has been my favorite grocery store since I knew it existed — from the small, community-like feel to the prepped frozen snacks I throw in the oven 10 minutes before having guests over, it's been a go-to for me for over a decade.

During the four years in college I didn't live near one, friends and I would make a semi-annual pilgrimage to the one nearest us hours away to pick up our favorite essentials, all on a college budget.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's important to recognize that we all go through different experiences based on the reproductive systems we're born with. Yes, the penis and vagina do different things. I want to understand what it's like to walk around with a pair of balls and I'd hope others are curious about what it's like to bleed once a month, endure infertility issues, and just have a uterus and identify as a woman.

I'm not going to lie — I was pleasantly surprised by the answers I received when I asked 12 men about some basic reproductive health. Here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less

Many people want to help when they learn someone they know is going through or has been through, a rough period in life. The issue lies in the right way to approach the situation without making it worse. These encounters, whether they be continuous or a single conversation, are never easy. It's okay to feel discomfort and to question whether or not you're handling it properly.

There are a few things I've found to be mostly universal in theory (if not in full thought) from the person going through a tough time. I hope this brings some understanding and perspective for the next time you have a sit down with someone you care for.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

PCOS Is The Worst, But The Women Battling It Every Day Are Extraordinary

Women are learning new ways to assist hormonal health every single day.

1359

Everyone knows someone who has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Maybe you don't know that you know, but with 10% of women in the United States having the autoimmune disease, it's more common than you'd think. The hormonal hell that many of these women go through is not only painful, but it's exhausting, with too few answers thanks to a lack of research and consistency.

This lack of research makes the disease rather "trial and error" for many women, as everyone's case is different and requires them to figure things out based on experimentation. Thankfully, the women of the world are good at fixing problems. While PCOS has caused me a lot of hurt, I've been blown away by the women I've met who continue to tackle this battle head-on, one day at a time.

Keep Reading... Show less

OK, listen, I also think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is cool. I had an Elizabeth Warren sign in my dorm room for a while. I'm currently interning for a congressional candidate. I'm very invested in politics. And supporting and liking certain politicians over others is a part of being invested in politics.

Keep Reading... Show less
Rebecca Alvarez

Rebecca Alvarez is many things: founder, sexologist, CEO, mentor, and more — as a Latina businesswoman, each of her endeavors is grounded in the strong principles of inclusivity and diversity, especially in sexual health and wellness. Bloomi is the product of her all of her shared passions, and with it she has fostered a community of like-minded, passionate women.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is not a consistent standard for health education in the United States. There are a lot of variables that go into this — what state a student lives in, whether they go to a public or private school, and the district's funding and priorities. These variables can be argued for any subject, not just health class. But as we continue to grow as a society, hopefully bettering our education system along the way, it's crucial to consider this often-forgotten element of a child's schooling.

Keep Reading... Show less

In March, the whole country shut down. School was online, extra-curriculars were canceled, and I found myself laying in bed all day every day. One day, as I was laying in bed contemplating my laziness, I decided that I wanted to do something to make myself more healthy. I was feeling so down on myself and my laziness so I decided to make a change.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments