5021 Child Abuse or Neglect

5021 child abuse or neglect

Because of their daily contact with school-age children, educators and other school employees are in a unique position to identify abused and/or neglected children.  Nebraska law defines abuse or neglect as knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting a minor child or an incompetent or disabled person to be (1) placed in a situation that endangers his or her life or physical or mental health; (2) cruelly confined or cruelly punished; (3) deprived of necessary food, clothing, shelter or care; (4) left unattended in a motor vehicle, if such child is six years of age or younger; or (5) sexually abused.

Reporting Procedure.  School employees will report suspected abuse or neglect of a child according to the following procedure.

         1.      Any school employee who suspects that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the suspicion to the building principal immediately.

         2.      The principal and the school nurse shall, whenever possible, investigate the concern within 24 hours of receiving the initial report.  When the principal determines that a report should be made through the district, he or she shall make a report to the office of social services or law enforcement.  The principal shall inform the employee(s) who made the initial report whether he or she has made a report to the office of social services or law enforcement.  If no such report has been made, the employee(s) shall file such a report if he, she or they believe that a child has been abused or neglected.

         3.      If the safety or well-being of the child is in jeopardy, the report shall be made immediately to the city police department or the county sheriff's department.

         4.      Any doubt or question in reporting such cases shall be resolved in the favor of the child.  Consultation between the administrator and school employee is encouraged, keeping in mind that prompt reporting is essential. 

 

Contents of the Report.  The report to authorities shall contain the following information to the extent it is available: (1) name and position of reporting person; (2) name, address, and age of abused or neglected person; (3) address of the person or persons having custody of the abused or neglected person; (4) the nature and extent of the abuse or neglect, or the conditions and circumstances which would reasonably result in such abuse or neglect; and (5) any other information that may be useful in establishing the identity of the persons involved and cause of the abuse or neglect.

Legal Immunity.  Nebraska statutes give legal immunity from any civil or criminal liability to any person who makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect or participates in a judicial proceeding resulting from such a report.

 

Adopted on: 10 March 2014

Revised on: _________________________

Reviewed on: ________________________