Classrooms have shifted from a physical space to a virtual space. We applaud educators, students, and families for making this transition into a new way of learning.  With this change, educators have a different way to connect with students – through a webcam. Utilizing digital platforms for education is still somewhat new for many students, families, and teachers – and so are the risks associated with virtual classrooms.

The Beau Biden Foundation recommends schools review and update their child protection policies every year. Virtual learning environments may require new policies and procedures.

Principle among these guidelines is an adult’s ability to recognize abuse and neglect. More than two-thirds of the school year has passed and educators, school counselors, nurses, and principals have the advantage of knowing their students and notice if and when something is off with a child. But now, those same educators are primarily interacting with students through a webcam. This new perspective requires slightly different considerations for indicators of abuse or neglect.

A robust list of the indicators of abuse and neglect can be reviewed here: www.BeauBidenFoundation.org/AbuseHotlineBlog.

If you are a youth-serving professional or educator that wants to learn more about how to help protect children through virtual learning environments, please email us at [email protected]

Now that you know a few of the basics in recognizing abuse and neglect, the next step is reporting. If you have reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect, it is every adult’s responsibility to report to the appropriate state hotline. Learn more about reporting abuse and neglect in our blog here: www.BeauBidenFoundation.org/blog-reportingabuse.

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