Bystander Effect: Where's The Line Between Discipline And Child Abuse?
Start writing a post
Student Life

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

What would you do?

59
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.
Featured

Are New Year’s Resolutions Overrated? Why Not?

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

969
New Year’s Resolutions Overrated

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

Keep Reading... Show less
How to Use Your Passion for Writing to Complete Academic Essays

Academic paper writing is often considered one of the most dreaded parts of college for students. Most people hate it, even if they are into writing in general. Many students feel like it puts them into a box where no creative expression is possible. Like having to use a more formal tone of voice and thinking about referencing restricts one’s flow of thought.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Long Would It Take To Mine A Bitcoin?

No one will give you the correct answer to this question because there are a lot of details that they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

57959
Mine A Bitcoin

they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

57155
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Reasons to Consider a Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty."

119876
Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty." But if you're thinking about becoming a defense attorney, it's not this pretty simple. Defense lawyers argue that their clients are innocent because they don't want their actions to seem suspect in any way. They essentially say for the sake of the argument itself. If you're trying to decide whether or not becoming a defense attorney is something you would like to do, here are five reasons why it's worth considering:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments