Schools have a responsibility to keep their students safe. If it makes it easier for you, consider talking to the teacher and/or counselor that you feel the most comfortable with. Talking with someone can be hard -- but it can also make your situation easier and help keep you safe. Choose the teacher or staff person you feel most comfortable with and talk to them about your situation. They are there to support you through difficult situations, particularly ones that may affect or disrupt your learning. We know it may not be easy, but especially if your abusive partner goes to the same school as you, it can be really important.
Remember, a teacher or counselor may be a mandated reporter, meaning they may be required by law to report your situation to the authorities if you've been physically hurt or a crime has been committed. Chat with a peer advocate to find out about the mandated reporter laws in your state.
What is a Mandated Reporter?
Mandated reporters are adults who work in particular fields who are required by law to report any type of child, sexual, physical or financial abuse. Examples of mandated reporters include teachers, school counselors, doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers and police officers. They are required to tell an appropriate authority if you're being neglected or in real danger. Mandated reporting rules are different in each state. Remember, these laws are meant to protect you, not get you in trouble.
What are my Rights at School?
Every student has the right to go to school and be free from harassment, abuse and discrimination. Schools should be a safe place to learn. If someone or a group of people are making school dangerous for you, consider telling someone who can make the situation better, like a school counselor or administrator.
You also have the right to call the police if you need help. If you’re in immediate danger, dial 911 right away.
Approaching School Administration
Speaking to school staff or administrators may seem intimidating, but they are there to help and support you. If you have a favorite teacher or counselor, speak to them in private. Go to see them during lunch or outside of the regular school day. If it makes you more comfortable, bring a good friend who already knows the story. Tell the school official your concerns and what would make you feel safer. Ask what the school can do to help during class, after-school activities and when you’re arriving and leaving school.
Once you've spoken with someone, be sure to check back in with them. Tell them whether or not things are getting better and ask if they’ve taken the steps you talked about.
Get Support Other Places
Not everyone can find a support system at school. Don’t worry -- there are other places in your life to support you through tough times. Please read our pages about finding support at home and at work.