Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crossing Boundaries

Crossing Boundaries: A Variety of Perspectives on Preschool Stories (Iorio & Visweswaraiah)

Aloha Everyone!

While reading Crossing Boundaries: A Variety of Perspectives on Preschool Stories (Iorio & Visweswaraiah): It reminded me of a bad experience I went through in my past but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Before I started working for HIDOE, I work at a non-profit organization for 3 years as a skills trainer (my part-time job) while attending school. I loved working as a ST (skills trainer), until I was confronted with a dilemma, reporting on a staff member who was abusing couple of our students who was mentally challenges. This staff would mentally abuse them and sometime use physical focus. With the physical force right away there was couple of staff members including me reported this immediately to our supervisor. Well as time went by it seems that nothing was done. Later on that month I was inform that our supervisor just gave this staff a verbal warning. “WOW!”

The protocol with this company was to report any incident to our immediately supervisor (through the chain of commands) and I felt that didn’t work. But here’s the real problem, this certain staff who was abusing our students has been with this company for over 8 years and had friends in management position. Morally, this didn’t sit right with me. It’s sad to say this, but I had to think about it for a while before deciding to report it to upper management. I was thinking about my job, should I turn the other way and just collect my paycheck and say nothing or should I report it and make my work environment a harmful place for me (mentally and spiritually) to work at. Now, let’s not forget about the two students who is being abuse by this staff.

Now here is where I cross the boundaries, to make a long story short, I reported this incident to the vice president of the company through e-mail messages and a written report on the incident. They did an internal investigation and within a month or so I left this company (some people at work wasn’t being nice to me) and 4 months later this staff member got fired because of code of ethics, behavior management, and abuse & neglect of a clients/student by parent, legal guardian, caregivers & staff.

This was my turning point of my professional career before I became a teacher. I called this “The crossroad to my character” What I have learned through this event is that, I can not hesitate when it comes down to the well being of a child (student) who is helpless. I became a stronger advocate for my students because of this incident and I learned two things to do as a teacher. Take a lot of notes and documentations to back you up when you are planning to report anyone who is doing wrong. That’s the best advice I could give to you all ;-D!


  1. Hey man that's awesome that you took a greater initiative than even your immediate supervisor. I think it's difficult when friendships go beyond work ethics and suddenly the children are not the main focus. When I was going to school at HCC my teacher always said that child abuse is a real topic in teacher's work and I always thought that it was never going to happen to me...BUT THEN one of my kids came to school and said mom gave him spankings and he had the bruises to prove it. Though I was uncomfortable I knew the right thing to do. You're totally awesome for what you did!

  2. Hi Gary....hand claps to you. You have courage and know to do the right thing. I'd be hesitant only because I know I'd probably lose my job if there was favoritsm, now a days, I really don't know who to trust. Ethically, I know i'd have to do the right thing but I will surely document my every move. Good advice :) thanks...

  3. Hey Gary,
    Im proud of you...you did do the right thing. I would say it is something hard to do, but its for the sake of the children. No child should deserve to be abuse. NEVER...It is very weird how this this system works. Its mostly who knows who to get the job. And its like if you have to report someone you have to do it weather you like it or not...good for you!!!

  4. Aloha,
    I congratulate you on a job well done and for not giving in to the "powers that be." When I decided to become an Early Childhood Educator, I remember one of the first things that I learned was that we are mandated to report even if we only suspect abuse. When we become teachers, we become advocates for all children regardless of whether they are helpless or not. I can see that you are a person of conviction and high moral values by the decision you made. "GOOD FOR YOU!"
    I too faced what you did and not only once. I have been in 2 centers where teachers openly abused the children and no one thought it was wrong. The first center my director was never witness to the abuse until I reported it. An investigation was conducted and the teacher was removed from the center.
    At the seond center no one would listen and refused to do anything. I had to go all the way to NAEYC (accredited school on Oahu)and requested an investigation 3 teachers were fired and one of them took the school to court when NAEYC found the allegations to be true and they lost their accreditation (I have heard that they are now reaccredited again. Scary, same administrator is there and she would not do anything until NAEYC got involved.)
    You are so very correct when you said to document. My documentation was a focal point in the investigation.