Teachers say it’s hard to detect signs of neglect in virtual learning

Marc Smith, acting director of DCFS, says – like many organizations – things changed on the fly once the pandemic became evident in March. (Photo courtesy: Illinois DCFS/Facebook)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – If the teacher and student are in the same room, it’s easier to detect signs of neglect or abuse. A panel of state senators Monday heard about the problems distance learning creates.

North Shore superintendent Mike Lubelfeld, whose district includes Highland Park and Highwood confirms the suspicions – it’s hard to do.

“We don’t always have a chance to physically see the child and even just on Zoom, you really can’t see if anything is particularly of concern. We have reached out to our staff members’ professionalism and commitment to mandated reporting in general to really check in on families with a history,” Lubelfeld told the hearing. “The outreach of DCFS continues to be professional sadly there is probably underreporting.”

Calls to the hotline have plummeted, but investigations are up – DCFS says law enforcement gets the credit for that.

Dave Dahl can be reached at News@WJBC.com. 

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