JHG - Reporting Child Abuse
The term, abused or neglected child, means a child:
- Whose parent, guardian, or custodian has abandoned the child or has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse;
- Who lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
- Whose environment is injurious to the child’s welfare;
- Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being;
- Who is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian through no fault of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
- Who is threatened with substantial harm;
- Who has sustained emotional harm or mental injury as indicated by an injury to the child’s intellectual or psychological capacity evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in the child’s ability to function within the child’s normal range of performance and behavior, with due regard to the child’s culture;
- Who is subject to sexual abuse, sexual molestation, or sexual exploitation by the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care;
- Who was subject to prenatal exposure to abusive use of alcohol, marijuana, or any controlled drug or substance not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner; or
- Whose parent, guardian, or custodian knowingly exposes the child to an environment that is being used for the manufacture, use, or distribution of methamphetamines or any other unlawfully manufactured controlled drug or substance.
Any teacher or other school employee, who suspects that a child under 18 years of age has been neglected or abused by a parent or other person, will report orally or in writing this information to the building Principal or Superintendent. The Principal or Superintendent shall immediately report this information to the state’s attorney, the department of social services, or to local law enforcement. The teacher or other school employee who witnessed the disclosure or evidence of the abuse or neglect must be available to answer questions when the initial report is made. If the Principal or Superintendent does not confirm to the teacher or other employee within 24 hours that the report has been submitted, the employee will report the information directly to the state’s attorney, the department of social services, or to local law enforcement.
The report will contain the following information: name, address, and age of child; name and address of parent or caretaker; nature and extent of injuries or description of neglect; and any other information that might help establish the cause of injuries or condition.
School employees, including administrators, will not contact the child’s family or any other persons to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or neglect. It is not the responsibility of the school employees to prove that the child has been abused or neglected, or to determine whether the child is in need of protection, but only to report suspicions of abuse or neglect.
Anyone who participates in making a report in accordance with the law and in good faith is immune from any civil or criminal liability that may otherwise arise from the reporting, or from any resulting judicial proceeding, even if the suspicion is proved to be unfounded.
Information or records concerning reports of suspected abuse or neglect are confidential. The release to persons other than those provided by law is a class one misdemeanor. Failure to make a report of abuse or neglect is a class one misdemeanor.
Copies of this policy will be distributed by the Superintendent to all school employees at the beginning of each school term, and to new employees when they begin employment if at a different time than the beginning of the school term.