I just finished reading this eight-page article, "Deaf School Abuse," in the The Advocate, a Louisiana publication. The article raises the following points:
- Deaf students, especially those with multiple disabilities, are at greater risk for being abused
- Deaf children who have limited language, may not understand the situation.
- Some of the abuse comes from peers; other abuse comes from adults working at the school
- These types of problems are not unique to schools for the deaf - they happen in any institutional setting. The State Superintendent told The Advocate, "I've been told by the experts that we brought in that the amount of activity we have going on is lower than normal as compared to (other) residential deaf education settings."
Background checks of adults prior to hiring can do only just so much to protect kids. You also have to be concerned about students themselves with other students. Deaf students with limited language can find themselves doing the wrong things with other deaf students.
I understand how vulnerable a deaf child can be in a deaf school or deaf program because this happened to a deaf child I know. That student was molested by a slightly older deaf student. The incident happened out of sight of the adults.
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