By Julia Jacob
Report card day can provoke anxiety and dread among students. It may also lead some of them to fear for their physical well-being.
A new study found a nearly fourfold increase in confirmed reports of child abuse on the Saturdays immediately after the distribution of report cards at Florida public schools.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, focused on children ages 5 to 11 and relied on reports called in to the Florida Department of Children and Families abuse hotline during the 2015-16 academic year.
Melissa A. Bright, the lead author of the study, said the idea for the research arose from the personal accounts of pediatricians and teachers who saw a pattern of abuse shortly after report cards were released. Dr. Bright, a researcher at the University of Florida who focuses on child maltreatment, said some teachers told her they worried about some of their students after grades were distributed.