Been months since I've been on, but need support quick. CPS called, belt abuse

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AK0603, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    I'm sure most of you don't remember me, quickly short story. My oldest DS is 12 now, he has been diagnosis'd with ODD, ADD, depression and possible bipolar. We lived in NY and in the last year we've moved to Indiana.

    My son was out of control in NY with me. He scared me, I was worried he'd hurt himself, he was hospitalized for 2 weeks. Flunked 5th grade, but I did all I really felt I could. So he came to Indiana to be with his father in march last year. The rest of us waiting till the other kids were out of school and we moved here. (may) So he primarly lives with his father, Sun - Thurs and then with me each weekend, but I do see him daily.

    Last I reported he was doing 100% better, off ALL his medications!!! Straight A's, in sports and no more depression. I mean a different child, his father did wonders for him, and his father's wife. I am impressed!!!

    Okay fast forward, last week. DS got into trouble @ school, he's in 6th grade now. He put SOS and his school's name on the paper with the following date written. He did not know what SOS meant (he thought it meant the "s word") Anyways, he left it on the bus, another child found it turned it in, the principal found out it was DS and suspended him for "threatening" the school. They let him finish the whole day, but was suspended the date written on the note.

    So his father punished him 3 ways, grounded 1 week, the day of suspension he was to work by mowing and cleaning the yard, and he was spanked with a belt. Now I do not agree with- spankings, my Ex knows this, and I have been assured by him he would not be spanked (he spanked him a year ago and left a small bruise, which I freaked FREAKED out about) So this weekend DS comes to my house for his birthday party. He has a bruise from the belt, and bruise isn't even a good word, it looks like he was hit with- a baseball bat. He said 4 swats, the bruise starts mid thigh all the way up his butt. I took pics, I talked to the father, I told him that it was NOT okay and I was very unhappy with this. By Sunday I couldn't stand it, I called CPS annon. they went to his school Monday, took photos. Then called the county police out the following day. Called EX last night to have him come into the PD. I need to mention Ex is a city cop too.

    So I got a call from Ex's wife stating did I call, and he could loose his job, and how it's my fault and I need to do something about this.
    I told her that it was all on EX and this was NOT DS's fault or my fault, there should have been no hitting #1, not use of belts #2 and not hard enough for bruising to take effect #3. I mean is she for real? He's out @ the PD today, I'm not sure what will happen.

    CPS told me he was going to be forced to take Anger Management and parenting classes. As far as charges it was up to the cops, but I doubt that it will happen.

    Ex isn't worried, he said he deserved the punishment and it's not abuse. I believe it is.

    Wondering if anyone has any experience with- this. We have joint custody but he has physical custody and I am just scared about all of this.
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am glad you took photos! And yes I remember you! I had hoped things were still going well, I know it was such a hard decision for you to give difficult child to your EX and the whole move was very stressful.
    I have no experience with this, but I wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and know that you did the right thing.
    Our kids and hitting, beatings, spankings just do not work, (not that it works for any child) but it seems to really make things so much worse for our kids mental state.
    How is difficult child?
    Hang in there
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have sat and pondered this post for a bit. I believe in spanking but this isnt spanking. This is abuse. Spanking doesnt leave such marks. I have been beat with a belt and it didnt leave such marks. The only time I got marks left on me was when the heavy buckle hit me. And yes I said beat.

    I would bet it wasnt a belt. Good luck. I feel for your son.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It does sound excessive. I mean, if you can take pics of it, it's out there.
    So sorry about the tension between you and your ex's wife. But you've got to look out for your son.
    I'm glad your son has improved. But I wonder if this will be a setback?
    How is he doing? Is he nervous about CPS? I would play it cool with-your difficult child. If you called anonymously, it should stay anonymous.
  5. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    okay, so EX just called me and met with- police, he said case is closed and he got nothing. No charges, no complaint, no warning. He was told by PD that CPS case was closed as well, although I'm not 100% sure about that. This was his version. I am so sad that this is going on, and what he did was WRONG!!! I don't know what to do.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you need to call CPS and see what is going on. If he is let go scot free you need to call your State Representative AND an investigative journalist. Ask the journalist why cops are allowed to brutalize their own kids. As soon as this hits the media your ex WILL be punished. And he should NOT be a cop - he clearly does NOT understand the difference between punishment and abuse.

    This was clearly abuse. I have been hit a belt many years ago. My dad did NOT hit as hard as he could and it did not bruise. I was VERY tender-skinned and bruised easily. Your ex had to swing as hard as he could to leave bruises.

    Your child deserves to live with YOU now. He is NOT SAFE living with his father. It is up to Y O U to stand up for your child and make sure he is safe. he will remember the beating (and problem not what he did) for the rest of his life. He should ALSO remember that his momma worked as hard as she could to get him to safety away from his abuser.

    I am so sorry, and I do remember you (my daughter is a HUGE soccer fan).


  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That doesn't surprise me. I suspected they would protect their own.

    Have you talked to your difficult child yet? How's he doing?
  8. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    he's doing okay, he's been scared that he would get into more trouble for showing the bruise. And get this I guess he's told the school about the belt spanking issue before and instead of making a report, they called dad and told him what he was saying??? !!!

    My calls are into CPS for official update, and my lawyer to see what I can do legally.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I would think the school could be held liable for not contacting authorities sooner. In our state, they are required to report any suspected abuse, overt or otherwise.

    You did the right thing to report it. I like Susiestar's suggestions. I'd be tempted to get the media involved too.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Be careful though. It is a thin blue line. Carefully weigh what is going to hurt your son. Is going to the media going to get your son hit more? Just a thought.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I knew he would cross into beating, but because he's a cop, he got off whereas nobody else would. If I were you, seriously, I'd take him back to NY where he'd have to fight you long distance for custody, and good luck to him when NY (a liberal state) sees those bruises, cop or no cop.
    This man thinks beating a child is ok. If you keep allowing him to do it, custody and all, where he gets a free pass, in my opinion you are also partly responsible. It's up to you to make sure your son is safe because ex will NOT.
    How scary for your son. I don't think you can do anything if your ex is a cop unless you take your son over t he border where he isn't important. Otherwise, well, this will NOT be the last time. Your ex seems to think that this is an ok way to deal with your son. But it's been proven that violence only causes more violence. Sad that cop ex can get away with it. I hope you do the right thing and get the kid out of Dodge. I wouldn't even deal with ex-swife. Or talk to her.
    Dammnit Janet believe in spanking...we have sparred on this issue. If she calls it a's a beating. Right, Janet? ;)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Take difficult child to the doctor's office to ask how you should treat the bruises. They are also mandatory reporters. I would just call to set up an appointment., Reason you want difficult child to see the doctor? "My son has severe bruises - I would like the doctor to check them and see what type of damage has been done." Let the doctor's office ask how it happened (don't offer the info, you don't want to appear to be "tattling", your concern is to get the medical help for your son. They will ask - if they don't, something is wrong with the doctor's office).

    Whenever this happens, take him to ER immediately, ER will also be mandatory reporters.

    The more people reporting, the better. As others said, the school should have reported it. Did difficult child show the school the marks or just verbally report what happened? Find out from difficult child who exactly he told then call that person and ask for a report. Then ask why a report was not made, then take it to the principal and ask why staff did not follow through on the mandatory reporting. If no satisfaction, write a letter to the school board (certified letter so you have proof it was delivered - or have your lawyer write it.)

    Also as others said, cops should not be above the law. Hopefully your lawyer can help in this area.

    You can tell x's wife that anyone who saw the bruise or was told about it (a friend's parent) could have made the call and if a call was made to CPS someone must have felt the need to call.

    difficult child has probably lost any respect he had for his dad. Every little negative thing dad does now will be adding to the fuel of anger difficult child will probably start building.

    My heart goes out to difficult child. This is just wrong.

    Keep us posted on how this gets resolved - one of us may need the info some day (though I pray not).
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Long story short, a friend was t-boned by an ex-cop a few weeks ago. Of course, he glad handed all the cops at the scene, and she got the ticket. I googled him, and found the reason he wasn't a cop anymore.

    Ex-C was a Sgt in the Detective Division downtown with the city police force, and lived in the unincorporated county next door's (my county) jurisdiction. He beat his wife in front of the child. She was bruised and reported it. Ex-C went to his lieutenant in the city and told him what was happening. A city unit drove him to the county sheriff, and they charged and released him. He was suspended from his duties. He plead guilty about four months later and was sentenced to anger management with a delayed filing. He completed the anger management in 6 months, and his guilty plea was reversed. He was re-instated as an patrol officer in one of the outlying precincts that had a lot of gang activity. He quit not long after that, but he still had a job and he had a clean record.

    I hope that your ex will get a decent attorney and make arrangements to rethink the appropriate options for misbehavior. The only way he comes out of this wrong is if he tries to minimize the seriousness of his actions, and/or if he tries to intimidate you into minimizing the seriousness of his actions. Right or wrong, (in my humble opinion you did the right thing) it's out of your hands now, and he's the one responsible for what he did.
  14. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    I'm so sorry this has happened to your difficult child and you. I wasn't surprised either, that your ex seems to have gotten away with it. Cops (not all, don't get me wrong--I have high respect for police officers!) are known for protecting their own, and thinking the law does not apply to them.
    As far as the school not reporting it, does your son have a tendency to tell stories? If so, maybe the school officials (assuming no one actually saw the bruising) just figured he was telling another whopper and left it at that.
  15. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I agree with Adrianne. Everytime there are bruises -- and there will be more if he gets away with it this time -- take your son to a doctor or the ER. Get it documented by a third party. They are mandatory reporters.

    As for the school personnel, they're mandatory reporters too. I would look into who is responsible for enforcing the mandatory reporting laws and file a complaint about the school officals' failure to report. It isn't their obligation to investigate abuse allegations, it is their job report them to those who investigate.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I do remember you, I've been wondering how you were getting on.

    I have perhaps a different perspective on this but hear me out and don't jump on me too soon.

    First - from the sound of things, things were going really well for difficult child, living with his dad and stepmother and still seeing you as much as you were. It sounds like there was a good system in place and his progress seems to have borne this out.

    Next - OK, an Aussie perspective - who was the ****)& who saw this note (doodle?) as a threat, first and foremost, BEFORE talking to the kid and straightening out the situation? Because THIS seems to have triggered a major cascade of disasters. There are many ways to interpret that note, even if you assume the kid knew what "SOS" meant, which he says he didn't. He could have been making a fake note along the lines of, "I'm trapped at this school - get me out!" but never meant it to be found, nothing more than an idle doodle. We used to do that sort of thing all the time when we were kids. If my pencil case got spilled, I'm sure there were a lot of scraps of paper in there that could have got me into serious trouble, including sketches of my headmaster swinging on a gibbet (best place for him - and I say that looking back 45 years later). If only they had talked to difficult child about this FIRST... I get so cranky with things like this being perceived as serious threats at the slightest hint, when what we are doing by this is allowing fear to rule, when it shouldn't even have ANY headroom (not in this situation). A serious threat - that's different. But for pete's sake, get real! [addressed to the school officials here]

    So that's the first thing the SCHOOL did wrong.

    And now we have the cascade of disasters. A student who has a past history of struggling emotionally etc and who WAS making huge progress, is now set back. And on top of the school punishing him, he gets punished at home as well!??!? Why? Fair enough, get a talking-to at home. "What were you thinking?" But the situation that was working (apparently) so well, now is blown out of the water.

    So that's the first thing DAD did wrong.

    Then somewhere in there, dad decides son needs physical punishment. What the...?

    WHAT HAPPENED TO TALKING TO THE KID? Find out WHY, then deal with THAT?

    OK, people all around have fouled up BIG time.

    It all started because difficult child scrawled something ambiguous on a piece of paper. All of this is WAY out of proportion.

    Now, let's look at the whole scenario - yes, terrorism is something to fear. Was this potentially terrorism? Was it potentially a threat? Has any degree of threat been alleviated? At what cost?

    We HAD a kid who seemed to have been turned around - a delicate situation still, bot looking positive. We now have a kid who is bruised, who feels that all his efforts will still put things back into bad places with the merest transgression (he probably still doesn't get exactly what he did that was so wrong) and a family situation which was positive, but is now full of mistrust, resentment, loss of face and a great deal of anger. Nothing learned there, either.

    Very sad, all round.

    Did you do the right thing, notifying CPS? It's a hard question; I think you really had no choice. And I am angry on your behalf, that you were forced into that position. I am also angry on your ex's behalf, that HE was put into that position by the school. I am angry WITH your ex and his wife as well though, because they STILL feel they did the right thing.

    What a mess! And the degree of punishment, on all involved, is way out of proportion to the 'crime'.

    He shouldn't have applied ANY physical punishment, let alone such a severe one; the school had applied punishment, that should have been enough. difficult child did not transgress against the home or family (apart from embarrassing them, perhaps?).

    The school shouldn't have made such a huge mountain range out of an anthill. Again, they should have looked at the situation clearly, without the silly fear-mongering that in fact plays into the hands of genuine terrorists.

    Punishment is pointless, if nothing is learned and no improvement gained. difficult child has not learned anything positive (except maybe what SOS really means! - and he could have learned THAT without even being suspended). Ex has learned nothing - if anything, his physical punishment methods have been vindicated. difficult child has learned something very negative - if someone does the wrong thing by you, and you try to set things right by telling someone, you will get punished even further.

    I don't know how this would work, but for now I would look beyond the physical punishment problem and go back to the source of the problem - the initial fear response. That started it all. I could quote a number of similarly silly examples where a school responded with similar over-reaction without trying to sort it out at a lower level. If the school thinks they have "made an example" of difficult child and taught other kids to be careful also - forget it. It's highly likely that most of the other kids, while horrified at what has happened to difficult child, have simultaneously lost respect for a system which is blindly fear-based.

    If only it were possible to sit down around the table and talk this out, everybody together. You, the ex (and stepmom), CPS, the school official. What is the best outcome for everybody? How should we have reacted? What do we do from here?

    Punishment isn't the issue here. Not for difficult child, not for ex. What is needed here is education, compassion and positive progress.

    Ex shouldn't be hitting, especially not with such force. He hasn't got this message. The school shouldn't be blindly suspending, not without trying to get to the bottom of things and maybe find a better way. If they had realised what would happen form this, I suspect (hope?) they would have given things more careful thought.
    CPS need to get the message through to ex that hitting is wrong. Hitting WITH something (especially something to leave bruises like that) is not only old-fashioned, it is now a crime. It also is far less effective than was previously thought; we have better, more effective tools at our disposal. What is more terrifying as punishment for the child - the beating, or being made to write a letter of apology, then hand deliver it? At least a beating is over and done with in a minute. It also has nothing in context to the 'crime'. Having to write a letter - it directly relates to what difficult child did wrong, it takes him longer to do the task, he has to constantly think about what he did wrong, and what he has to do is directly related to trying to make things right again.

    I hope some good can come out of this and difficult child can get back on the right track again.

    I am not in your shoes - it's not MY son who has come home covered in bruising. I can't fathom how angry I would be, if I had seen MY son bruised like that. I don't know how you will be able to try to make some positive result form this mess. All I can suggest is to begin from a point of no more blame - just education, information, and strategies for the future, being brought in.

    difficult child needs to learn to keep his doodles to himself and to be a bit more careful next time.

    The school needs to learn to THINK and to investigate, before blindly panicking and punishing hard out of proportion; maybe punishing more appropriately in future (suspension is stupid - reward a difficult kid with a holiday from school? What does it teach?)

    Ex needs to learn that beating is wrong.

    Ex and stepmom need to learn that there ARE better ways.

    CPS and police need to learn that there are better ways to respond and try to change a situation, even if they don't choose to punish.

    You need to have confidence to do what you did, and to know that some positive outcome can result instead of the mess you're now in.

    If you can begin (not because you have done anything wrong - you haven't) by acknowledging that ex HAS done a good job to date with difficult child, apart from this, and you would like to get things back to the same good heading somehow, despite all the damage that's been done by the system - maybe it could help. If along the way someone makes ex do an anger management course - good. Personally, I think he needs a parenting course first, to learn that there are better ways now. It sounds to me that ex's flaws are due to him thinking this is right, rather than simply lashing out in anger. It's the wrong thinking that needs fixing, not necessarily anger. Anger is still wrong, but more understandable. I am more worried by someone beating a child hard because they believe it is the right thing to do, and then having this view apparently vindicated by nobody pressing charges.
    Punishment wouldn't necessarily teach ex anything. Being given more tools and supported in learning to use them - THAT surely would have more impact AND give a better outcome for everybody.

    And surely that is what we want? For people to learn, so this won't happen again?

  17. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    no that is beyond spanking, I agree with the others, you listened to your Mommy heart and did the right thing, hopefully if your X lost it he will realize it and do what he has to, to make sure it does not happen again!
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I actually believe, sadly, that he wasn't reported because everyone knows he's a cop and nobody wants to get on the bad side of a cop.
    I knew a woman who was being stalked and abused by a cop. She called the cops...haha. Guess what? Nothing happened to him. Nobody even talked to him about it. He kept doing it. She had to move far away and hide her identity. People are afraid of cops, especially cops who have maybe been violent.
    I'd still move this kid away from the man. He got away with it once, it likely wasn't his first beating, and he'll do it again. The kid will be the worst for it unless he sees justice. No matter what he did, he did not deserve a beating and ex doesn't deserve a free pass to do this again.
    I would tell the doctor straight out, "His father did it." They may NOT ask. I'd make sure they knew. Then they HAVE to report it.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do remember you and have wondered how things were going. You absolutely needed to call CPS. I'm really surprised the school didn't report this. I agree that every time this happens he needs to go to the ER or to a dr. appointment. Hugs to you, I know this has to be so hard on you.
  20. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    Talked to CPS today, she stated the case is NOT closed. That the cops did not press criminal charges, but still the cps case is wide open. She wants me, him, her, the principal and counseler to met @ school next week. At that point she will decide want needs to happen. Classes, whatnot.

    He's already going with the treats to me, if I find out you called this in, I'm going to flip out. If your mom called they won't see their grandparents, etc....