Friday Report Cards Have Devastating Consequences

All parents react differently to a child who is doing poorly in school, and we all have our own way of handling the situation.

Many caregivers are very supportive in working with teachers to get to the root cause and will spend extra time at home in order to help the child improve.

But a recently-released report shows cause for concern about how some parents are reacting to poor school performance.

The Journal of the American Medical Association released findings in a report that found a correlation between physical abuse of students and the day report cards are sent home.

The study was conducted over a one-year period from September of 2017 through May of 2018, a full academic year.

The results are disturbing.

It appears that incidents of child abuse quadruple when report cards are released on a Friday.

Data was collected from 64 out of 67 counties in the state of Florida where cases of reported abuse of children ages 5 – 11 was verified.

The study did not find a link between child abuse and report cards released on other days of the week from Monday through Thursday, and reports of abuse did not increase on any other Saturday of the month except for those after a Friday report card release.

These results are shocking and show that many parents are still using corporal punishment on their children, which is a leading risk factor for physical abuse.

In an updated statement about corporal punishment, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for a ban on spanking and other types of physical punishment.

The comments were issued in early November in the Journal Pediatrics and stated, in part, that corporal punishment is “minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term” and can lead to “an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial and emotional outcomes for children.”

Corporal punishment has been shown to have negative effects on a child’s social, emotional, and academic well-being.

Mommy Underground has reported on studies that have found that spanking and other physical punishments can cause serious issues for children long-term.

The JAMA report concluded:  Importantly, short-term consequences associated with physical abuse include poor academic achievement, emotional and behavioral problems, and conduct disorders.   Thus, the nature of an association between school performance and abuse may be reciprocal.

So what is the real reason for the increase of abuse over the weekend after a Friday report card release?

One idea is that parents and caregivers are too busy throughout the week with other responsibilities to review and process the information on the report card.  They may even put it aside until they have the time to look at it at the end of the work week.

But more sinister is the most likely reason:  Parents and caregivers are more likely to physically harm a child over the weekend because there will be two days for any physical signs of abuse to fade or disappear before a child returns to school.

Teachers, guidance counselors, and school officials are all mandatory reporters, meaning they must report any suspected child abuse to the authorities immediately.

For now, researchers feel that further study is needed, but that there is a “systems-based opportunity” for schools and child service providers to work on a plan to prevent this abuse from occurring.

Plans to collect data over a longer period of time and in other states are in the works.

While the study states that they cannot definitively say there is a direct relationship between reported abuse and Friday report card release, the results are too clear to ignore.

What do you think of the shocking link between children being abused on a weekend following a Friday report card release?  Leave us your comments.

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