Bad report cards go out on Friday, child abuse increases

A new study finds when grades go home on Friday, child abuse goes up on Saturday. However, child abuse calls didn’t increase when report cards were released earlier in the week.

UTMB-Galveston professor and psychologist Dr. Jeff Temple said there could be some forethought by parents when it comes to this type of child abuse.

"I think that it probably has something to do with bringing home a report card on a Friday and the parents knowing that there is a few days for them to inflict physical punishment and it not being discovered, or reportable until after the weekend," said Temple.

The study found other reasons why:

  • Parents might drink or use drugs more on weekends,
  • Or, if received during the work week--there's other distractions to lessen the blow.

He says physical and mental abuse won't result in better grades, but will cause more harm to the child.

"Not only is there zero evidence that it works. There's a whole mountain of evidence that shows that it is harmful to kids, physically and mentally, both in the short term and the long term," said Temple.

He said to get a better report card is to find a tutor, support them, talk to them about what went wrong.

Temple did a study on corporal punishment and said it’s not the answer.

Texas, along with 18 other states, corporal punishment is legal in schools.

While, it was recommended that schools consider changing when report card summaries are presented, Temple said corporal punishment should be outlawed.

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