Yesterday I got a phone call from the school counselor saying that my son is making comments about wanting to hurt himself (age 5). The counselor said that she talked to him, and that he said he didn't mean it, but that he was really getting upset about a bully problem. I took him to a psychiatric evaluator and they said that he does not treatment, but that the bully problem needs addressed. Even though the professional said my son was "ok" aside from that, the school is stilling filing with CPS due to liability issues. However, the school did not seem very interested in dealing with the physical/mental bullies.
We are currently trying to adopt and are concerned about the repercussions of a CPS call. This CPS filing is frivolous, and I am looking for information about my legal rights.
I'm also hoping to get a teaching certification in the next year, which is another concern to having a CPS case. The school is insisting that this notification is policy and "no big deal." There are no allegations, no evidence to suspect any abuse at home, no marks, bruises, cuts, etc on my son to show any level of danger being presented to him. I had him evaluated professionally within an hour, so it's not as if I showed disinterest as a parent or let the issue linger in the slightest. My son told the evaluator that he tells the adults in charge when the bullies get mentally or physically abusive, and most of the time he's told to tell them if it happens again, and nothing is ever done or said to the bullies about their behavior. I'm very upset with the situation in which physically violent kids are getting away with it, while a five year old is having a case opened with CPS because he used a poor choice of words when trying to cope with constant tormenting.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Anytime CPS is involved it is a big deal. In El Paso they do a lot of irrationall things and they will at a minimum implement a safety plan that they will tell you that you have to follow. Contact a local attorney and discuss the case with them. I and others offer free consultations but you need to talk to someone before things get rolling with CPS and additionally to deal with the schools failure to stop or help with the bullying issue.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It may well be policy to notify CPS when the school as a report such as the desire to hurt oneself. I would not worry so much about the CPS investigation as I would push about the bully situation. While your son may be able to handle the situation right now by using his words to threaten action, it could be soon that he no longer feels that he can deal with what is being dished out. In order to hold the school accountable, you need to report each & every little thing that happens to your son by the same bullies. (You do not need to report frivolous incidents with other kids - "kid stuff".) I would put the complaints in writing and deliver them to the principal, with a copy to the head administrator. Your son has the right to be in a safe school environment. CPS will be greatly interested in the efforts you have made to protect your son, even despite the school's seeming lack of interest. (If you cannot get satisfaction from the school after giving them sufficient and full notice, I would hire a lawyer and perhaps see if that lawyer can get their attention. You might also talk with the bully's parent about the situation. The parent may not be aware of what the child is doing, and could talk with the child.)
Good luck to your son.