It's beyond heartbreaking to think of what some special education children in the Chicago area may have endured before anyone knew. A teacher from Finkl Elementary School there has been suspended after reports of abuse from students, including one from a 7-year-old boy with autism who is unable to speak that came in the form of some drawings.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, dad Luis Murillo said his son kept coming home this year with bruises on his body. Once the knee of his pants were ripped, "as if he had been pulled across the ground." When Luis checked in with the school, he was told it was from the children fighting with one another.
His son's pictures, however, told a different story.
He began drawing pictures of stick figures looking scared and sad, saying, "No." There were also stick figure women looking angry, and one figure saying, "Help." Murillo told the station, "Every time he drew, we just thought he was drawing." It turns out, however, that they may have been a cry for help.
Jessica Sanchez, who has an 8-year-old son with Down syndrome at the school, had seen scratches and marks on her son all year. When she picked him up early one day recently, she saw her son fearfully run behind her, and her suspicions escalated. That's when she contacted the principal, and police were called. The teacher and all aides in the classroom have since been removed.
I would imagine that in retrospect these parents may have some remorse that they didn't act on their suspicions earlier. That they didn't know the picture was telling a real-life story and do something about it sooner. It would be hard not to.
While I don't think anyone is to be blamed, expect for the person abusing the children if it's proven to be true, I think it does serve as a reminder to all parents that we have to follow our instincts when it comes to our children and their safety, whether they can speak or not. We want to believe nothing like this could happen, but sadly it does.
Have you children ever revealed something to you in a drawing?
Image via skenmy/Flickr