MANDATORY REPORTING CHILD ABUSE: IT’S YOUR JOB
"L" is for Lawsuit; Lumped in; and Liable. Are you the next Teacher to be named in a Lawsuit, or Lumped into Litigation because you are paid by the school district being sued, and allegations frame you as being Liable, too?
The Eight Myths--All False!--About Mandatory Reporting Child Abuse
Myth #1: “I have to be a tenured teacher to report child abuse.”
Myth #2: “I have to be a medical doctor to report child abuse.”
Myth #3: “Without concrete evidence and only vague suspicions, I can’t report based on my suspicions.”
Myth #4: “When my Principal says at a faculty meeting there is already a designated and appointed Mandatory Reporter for our school, I should let that person do all the child abuse reporting.”
Myth #5: “I must report only what my school’s administration defines as child abuse, neglect and molestation.”
Myth #6: “I cannot, by myself, call the police or sheriff or child protective services when I see signs and symptoms of child abuse.”
Myth #7: “I cannot testify in court about my suspicions about child abuse.”
Myth #8: “If I testify in court about what I suspect as child abuse, but testimony from others proves me wrong, the court will punish me.”
In 2012, state agencies identified an estimated 1,640 children who died as a result of abuse and neglect — between four and five children a day. However, studies also indicate significant undercounting of child maltreatment fatalities by state agencies — by 50% or more.
That undercounting is roughly one-fourth of your child's elementary school class!
More than 70% of the children who died as a result of child abuse or neglect were two years of age or younger. More than 80% were not yet old enough for kindergarten.
Around 80% of child maltreatment fatalities involve at least one parent as perpetrator.
This Professional Advisory and Action Plan has a Six-Fold Purpose, to:
1) Remind you about and alert you to your legal responsibility and duty to report signs and symptoms of child abuse, neglect and molestation;
2) Educate you on what constitutes abuse;
3) Encourage and motivate you as a Mandatory Reporter;
4) Enable you to potentially save abused children’s lives by fulfilling your duties as a Mandatory Reporter;
5) Save your career as an educator and protect you legally and financially from lawsuits. As an educator myself, I am regularly called on to assist lawyers in helping—through lawsuits and court testimony—victims of child abuse, neglect and molestation. That has often meant my finding errors and omissions by educators and entire school districts, in failing to report their suspicions or knowledge about child abuse, neglect and molestation (I have been a Mandatory Reporting trainer for a State Office of Education and the State Attorney); and...