ERIC Number: ED273007
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Responding to Child Abuse: Critical Issues for Educators and Their Counsel.
Myers, John E. B.; And Others
This chapter discusses the legal issues of schools' responsibilities concerning child abuse and neglect. Most state statutes make reporting mandatory for professionals, including school personnel, who have contact with children and who possess the requisite knowledge that raises a reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect. Reporting must be done immediately. Most reporting laws are silent regarding civil liability for failure to report, but tort liability was established by the 1976 "Landeros v. Flood" case in California concerning a physician's failure to detect and report battered child syndrome. Inservice training can improve the ability of educators to detect abuse and can increase knowledge about reporting laws. School districts could be liable for failure to provide inservice training, as prosecution for child abuse accelerates. Educators learn of abuse through physical or verbal evidence, and they must attempt to preserve evidence and increase the probability that a child's verbal statements will be legally admissible. Hearsay evidence is excluded unless it constitutes an exception; most frequently used is the so-called excited utterance exception. Nondirective questioning of a victim is important to use. Educators and their attorneys are in a position to take affirmative steps to ensure that abused children are protected. (CJH)
Descriptors: Administrator Responsibility, Child Abuse, Child Advocacy, Child Neglect, Childhood Needs, Compliance (Legal), Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Inservice Education, Law Related Education, Legal Responsibility, School Law, School Policy, School Responsibility, Sexual Abuse, Student Needs, Student School Relationship, Torts
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Jones, Thomas N., Ed. and Semler, Darel P., Ed. School Law Update, 1986 (EA 018 725).