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November 1984

Emotional Abuse in the Classroom-Reply

Author Affiliations

C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect 1205 Oneida St Denver, CO 80220

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1087. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490087031

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In Reply.—We agree fully with Dr Grossman's concerns. Unfortunately, the era of "passing on" maladaptive teachers has not ended, particularly in cases where the teacher is tenured and has support of a union.

In this specific case, two pediatricians provided support to the parents petitioning the school district for teacher removal. Even with these two professionals at hand, the process was arduous and time consuming. The school district finally removed him to another school, with official notation as such on his record. He was required to have professional counseling. He was not dismissed because there were no previous complaints recorded in his personnel file, even though many complaints against him had been expressed for years. In this particular school district (as in many across the country), the principal has the authority to decide whether or not complaints are actually placed in the teacher file or the "circular file" (wastebasket).

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