Students

CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT ANDEXPLOITATION PREVENTION

 

Policy No. 3421

Child abuse, neglect and exploitation are violations of children's human rights and an obstacle to their educational development. The board directs that staff shall be alert for any evidence of such abuse, neglect or exploitation. For purposes of this policy, “child abuse, neglect or exploitation” shall mean:

A.     Inflicting physical injury on a child by other than accidental means, causing death, disfigurement, skin bruising, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function.

B.     Creating a substantial risk of physical harm to a child’s bodily functioning.

C.     Committing or allowing to be committed any sexual offense against a child as defined in the criminal code, or intentionally touching, either directly or through the clothing, the genitals, anus or breasts of a child for other than hygiene, child care or health care purposes.

D.     Committing acts which are cruel or inhumane regardless of observable injury. Such acts may include, but are not limited to, instances of extreme discipline demonstrating a disregard of a child’s pain or mental suffering.

E.      Assaulting or criminally mistreating a child as defined by the criminal code.

F.      Failing to provide food, shelter, clothing, supervision or health care necessary to a child’s health or safety.

G.     Engaging in actions or omissions resulting in injury to, or creating a substantial risk to the physical or mental health or development of a child.

H.     Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of the preceding actions.

Child abuse can include abuse by another minor and so may be included in incidents of student misconduct.

When feasible, the district will provide community education programs for prospective parents, foster parents and adoptive parents on parenting skills and on the problems of child abuse and methods to avoid child abuse situations. The district shall also encourage staff to participate in in-service programs that deal with the issues surrounding child abuse.

The superintendent shall develop reporting procedures, including sample indicators of abuse and neglect, and shall disseminate the procedures to all staff. The purpose is to identify and report as soon as possible to the proper authorities all evidence of child abuse or neglect.  Staff shall receive training regarding reporting obligations during their initial orientation and every three years after initial employment.

Classified and Certified staff are legally responsible for reporting all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. A certificated or classified school employee who has knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that a student has been a victim of physical abuse or sexual misconduct by another school employee shall report such abuse or misconduct to the appropriate school administrator. The administrator shall report to the proper law enforcement agency if he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the misconduct or abuse has occurred as required under RCW 26.44.030. Under state law staff are free from liability for reporting instances of abuse or neglect and professional staff are criminally liable for failure to do so.

Staff need not verify that a child has in fact been abused or neglected. Any conditions or information that may reasonably be related to abuse or neglect should be reported. Legal authorities have the responsibility for investigating each case and taking such action as is appropriate under the circumstances.

 

Cross References:         Board Policy 4310                         Relations with the Law Enforcement and Child Protective Agencies

 

Legal References:         RCW  13.34.300                            Failure to cause juvenile to attend school as evidence under neglect petition

                                               26.44.020                            Child abuse — Definitions

                                               26.44.030                            Reports — Duty and authority to make — Duty of receiving agency

                                               28A.620.010                       Community education provisions — Purposes

                                               28A.620.020                       Community education provisions — Restrictions

                                               43.43.830(6)                       Background checks — Access to children or vulnerable persons

                                   

                                    WAC 388-15 388-15-130(3)        Definition of child abuse, neglect or exploitation

                                   

                                    AGO 1987, No. 9                          Children — Child Abuse — Reporting by School Officials — Alleged Abuse by Student

 

Management Resources:

                                    Policy News, February 2007          Physical Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Notice Requirements

                                    Policy News, June 1999                 23% of districts out-of-compliance on child abuse policies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adopted:  May 26, 2009

Blaine School District

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