Policy 7530

STUDENT WELFARE
7530 CHILD ABUSE AND MALTREATMENT


The District takes seriously the obligations of its officers and employees to report cases of child abuse or maltreatment. To this end, regulations will be developed, maintained, and disseminated by administration regarding the:

a) Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment;
b) Reporting procedures and obligations of persons required to report;
c) Provisions for taking a child into protective custody;
d) Mandatory reporting of deaths;
e) Immunity from liability and penalties for failure to report; 
f) Obligations for provision of services and procedures necessary to safeguard the life or health of a child; and
g) Provision of information in recognizing signs of unlawful methamphetamine laboratories for all current and new school officials (i.e., "mandated reporters") who, as part of their usual responsibilities, visit children's homes.

Additionally, an ongoing training program for all current and new school officials will be established and implemented to enable the staff to carry out their reporting responsibilities.

Reporting Information

The District will post the child abuse hotline telephone number and directions for accessing the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) website in English and Spanish on its website and in clearly and highly visible areas of school buildings. The District will also make this information available from its administrative offices; provide it to parents and persons in parental relation at least once per school year by electronic communication, sending the information home with students, or otherwise; and provide it to each teacher and administrator. The District may post and provide this information in other, common languages used by the school community.

Persons Required to Report


Persons required to report cases of child abuse or maltreatment to the State Central Register (SCR) in accordance with Social Services Law Section 413(1) include, but are not limited to, school teachers, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, school administrators or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, and full- or part-time compensated school employees required to hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate.

All mandated reporters must make the report themselves and then immediately notify the building principal or designee. The building principal or designee will be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report. Any report must include the name, title, and contact information for every staff member who is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations in the report.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Action


The District will not take any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because the employee believes that he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or maltreated child and that employee makes a report to SCR. Further, no school official will impose any conditions, including prior approval or prior notification, upon any staff member specifically designated a mandated reporter.

"Retaliatory personnel action" means the discharge, suspension, or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.

Report Form

The "Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment" Form LDSS-2221A may be accessed at the OCFS website.

Child Abuse in an Educational Setting

The District is committed to the protection of students in educational settings from abuse and maltreatment by employees or volunteers.

Child abuse
means any of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child (defined as a person under the age of 21 years enrolled in a school):

a) Intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury, or death; or
b) Intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury, serious physical injury, or death; or
c) Any child sexual abuse, defined as conduct prohibited by Penal Law Articles 130 or 263; or
d) The commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors in accordance with Penal Law Article 235.

Administrator
or school administrator means a principal, or the equivalent title, in a school, or other chief school officer.

Educational setting
means the building(s) and grounds of the District; the vehicles provided directly or by contract by the District for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extracurricular activities both on and off District grounds; all co-curricular and extracurricular activity sites; and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school nurse, school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, Board member, or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, as well as a licensed and registered physical therapist, licensed and registered occupational therapist, licensed and registered speech-language pathologist, teacher aide or school resource officer that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that person will upon receipt of the allegation:

a) Promptly complete a written report of the allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of the child's parent; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; and a listing of the specific allegations of child abuse in an educational setting. This written report will be completed on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
b) Except where the school administrator is the person receiving the oral or written allegation, the employee completing the written report must promptly personally deliver a copy of that written report to the school administrator of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred.

In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a school bus driver employed by a person or entity that contracts with the District to provide transportation services to children that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that school bus driver will upon receipt of the allegation, promptly report or cause a report to be made to his or her supervisor employed by the contracting person or entity.

In any case where an oral or written report or allegation is made to a supervisor who is employed by a person or entity that contracts with the District to provide transportation services to children from a person employed by the contracted person or entity that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, the supervisor must, upon receipt of an allegation:

a) Promptly complete a written report of the allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of the child's parent or guardian; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; and a listing of the specific allegations of child abuse in an educational setting. This report must be completed on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.
b) Ensure that the written report is personally delivered to the Superintendent employed by the school district where the child abuse occurred or, for a school other than a school district or public school, the school administrator employed by the school where the child abuse occurred.

In any case where it is alleged a child was abused by an employee or volunteer of a school other than a school within the District, the report of these allegations will be promptly forwarded to the Superintendent of the District and the Superintendent of the school district where the abuse of the child allegedly occurred. If a case involves a school that is not a school district or public school, the appropriate school administrator or administrators, in addition to any appropriate Superintendent, must be notified of the allegations of abuse.

If it is alleged the child was abused by the Superintendent or administrator, the report of the allegations will be made to another designated administrator.

Any employee, volunteer, or supervisor who is employed by a person or entity that contracts with the District to provide transportation services to children who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting in accordance with the reporting requirements of the law will have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of those actions.

Upon receipt of a written report alleging child abuse in an educational setting, a school administrator or the Superintendent must then determine whether there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred. Where there has been a determination as to the existence of reasonable suspicion, the school administrator or Superintendent must follow the procedures mandated in law and further described in administrative regulations including parental notification. When the school administrator receives a written report, he or she must promptly provide a copy of the report to the Superintendent and promptly forward the report to appropriate law enforcement. In no event will reporting to law enforcement be delayed by an inability to contact the Superintendent.

Where the Superintendent or, in a school other than a school district or public school, the school administrator has forwarded a written report of child abuse in an educational setting to law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent will also refer the report to the Commissioner if the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the State Education Department.

Any school administrator or Superintendent who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, or reasonably and in good faith transmits a report to a person or agency as required by law, will have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of those actions. 

Reports and other written material submitted in accordance with law with regard to allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, and photographs taken concerning those reports that are in the possession of any person legally authorized to receive that information, will be confidential and will not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investigation of child abuse in an educational setting or as expressly authorized by law or in accordance with a court-ordered subpoena. School administrators and the Superintendent will exercise reasonable care in preventing unauthorized disclosure. 

Additionally, teachers and all other school officials will be provided an annual written explanation concerning the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting, including the immunity provisions as set forth in law. The Commissioner will furnish the District with required information, including rules and regulations for training necessary to implement District and staff responsibilities under the law. 

All persons employed by the District, in titles equivalent to teacher or administrator, and any school bus drivers employed by a person or entity that contracts with the District to provide transportation services to children, are required to complete coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment in accordance with law and Commissioner's regulations.

Prohibition of "Silent" (Unreported) Resignations

The Superintendent and other school administrators are prohibited from withholding from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent, or the Commissioner, as appropriate, information concerning allegations of child abuse in an educational setting against an employee or volunteer in exchange for that individual's resignation or voluntary suspension from his or her position. 

The Superintendent or other school administrator who reasonably and in good faith reports to law enforcement officials information regarding allegations of child abuse or a resignation as required by law will have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise result by reason of those actions.

Prohibition on Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse


Unless exempted by law, no District employee, contractor, or agent of the District will assist another District employee, contractor, or agent in obtaining a new job, apart from the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files, if the individual or agency knows or has probable cause to believe, that the individual engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of the law.



Policy References:
Education Law Article 23-B and §§ 409-1, 902(b), 3028-b and 3209-a
Family Court Act § 1012
Labor Law § 740(1)(e)
Penal Law Articles 130, 235 and 263
Social Services Law §§ 411-428
8 NYCRR Part 83, § 100.2(nn)
20 USC § 7926



Adopted: 6/22/99
Revised: 9/6/22

Policy 7530