‘Concerned Relative’ Asks Teachers How To Help An 8-Year-Old Boy Who's Never Been To School & 'Can't Count Or Say His ABCs'

The story is an example of the often-overlooked educational neglect that takes place in many families.

sad little boy alone on swing set Veja / Shutterstock

The world of education is filled with horror stories. Children are misbehaving and teachers are quitting left and right. However, it isn’t every day that you hear about a child who hasn’t attended school at all. 

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation one little boy is in.

A ‘concerned relative’ reached out to teachers online for help regarding an 8-year-old boy who’s never been to school.

A relative of an 8-year-old boy who has never been to school and faces serious learning deficits because of it asked for help from teachers on Reddit.


RELATED: Teachers Say Kids Today Write In Chicken Scratch — And It's A Much Bigger Issue Than Parents Realize

“I know of an eight-year-old who hasn’t been to school yet,” he said. “Can’t count or say his ABCs.”


“What can a person do?” he asked in the Teachers subreddit. “It’s not fair to this little boy.”

“He’s going to become either a leech or criminal or both if he doesn’t get a basic education,” he concluded.

The relative revealed more information in the comments section. “Can the school system do anything for the child?” he asked. “He should be in third grade by now and hasn’t even learned kindergarten conduct. I can’t see how they could put him in with the first graders.”

There was also, apparently, a concern about the child’s potential for violence.

“He’s a big kid and is an orange belt in karate already,” the relative said. “I can see him hurting someone. As it is, I’m afraid violence might become his way of resolving conflicts.”


He also explained the sticky situation he was in personally. “It’s a relative, and I’ve already made my feelings known, so I know the parents will connect it back to me,” he said. “It’s not out of the realm of possibility that they would perpetrate violence on me and my wife.”

RELATED: 1 In 4 Kids Aren’t Going To School Anymore — ‘Chronic Absenteeism Is A Bigger Issue Than People Realize'

All teachers suggested the same thing.

All of the teachers who took the time to comment on this worried man’s post had the exact same piece of advice: call CPS.


Child Protective Services can be contacted in any case of abuse or neglect. Their website stated, “Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family, and it may even save a child’s life.”

While we have no evidence to suggest that these parents are necessarily abusive in a traditional sense, they are certainly being neglectful. Educational neglect is a real thing that needs to be reported.

According to the University of South Carolina, “Child abuse or neglect may exist when parents do not provide their children with education as required by law. However, a child’s absences from school may not be considered abuse or neglect unless the school has made efforts to bring about the child’s attendance, and those efforts were unsuccessful because of the parents’ refusal to cooperate.”


There was also a concern from teachers that the parents could claim they were homeschooling the boy.

One teacher said, “As long as [the] mom signs papers saying she ‘homeschooled’ him, it won’t matter until he tries to take the test to graduate.”

Unfortunately, standards for homeschooling vary widely from state to state. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, some states have “low regulation” This means those states “require parents to send a notification to their local school district.”

@hopeyoufindyourdad Listen, it can be done right, but so much more often than not I’ve seen homeschooling done wrong. I’m not necessarily just saying this creator, but it’s usually these vibes of like wanting your child to teach them self. #school #parenting #homeschool #teaching #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen #storytime ♬ original sound - Andra

Other states don’t even require this much regulation. There are “states that require no notification from parents to their local school district or any other governmental agency.”


It’s entirely possible that this little boy’s parents could simply say they are homeschooling him and have that be the end of the conversation. It’s also possible that they aren’t even required to report that much.

Clearly, this boy is stuck in the middle of a very sad situation. At least he does have a relative who is genuinely concerned about him and his welfare.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of child abuse, there are resources available to help. Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) to speak with a crisis counselor 24/7.


RELATED: Teacher Worries That ‘Average’ Students Are A Thing Of The Past — ‘Will This Be A Generation Of High Achievers & Basement Dwellers?’

Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.