(CNN) — The US Department of Education’s muted response to concerns about unreported child abuse in the age of virtual learning is fueling new distress among family welfare experts and advocates.
The Education Department declined to tell CNN on the record what steps have been taken to help teachers or other members of school communities spot signs of child abuse through a webcam during virtual teaching. Instead, a department spokesperson pointed to a series of online resources created by local and state education agencies that they help to make public.
That lack of federal guidance has set off alarm bells for experts.
“Clearly just posting resources on a website is not enough,” said Maureen Kenny Winick, a Florida International University professor whose expertise includes child maltreatment.
“Sometimes accessing what you need takes many clicks and teachers may have more immediate concerns about academics and distance learning right now.”