ST. LOUIS BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULATION
Child abuse is defined under Missouri statutes to include the following: Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
Neglect is defined under Missouri statutes to include the following: The failure to provide the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical or any other care necessary for a child's well-being.
Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect
Any employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, or who receives a report from any person, that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect, committed by any person, including abuse by another school employee, shall immediately report the facts to the school principal. The principal shall then immediately make an oral report of the suspected case to the Child Abuse Unit of the Missouri Division of Family Services by using the hot line telephone number. As required by law, such report may not be made on an anonymous basis. The building principal will also make the superintendent aware that a report has been made, and will keep him aware of the status of the case. Following the telephone report, the principal shall make a written report that will be provided to the Division of Family Services upon request. (In the case of a reporting employee who is not assigned to a school building, or in a case in which the principal is the subject of the allegation, the reporting employee may report directly to the executive assistant to the superintendent for administration, who will then report to the Division of Family Services.)
Investigating Child Abuse/Neglect
When a principal receives a report of alleged child abuse and/or neglect committed by any school employee, the principal shall also immediately file a report with the executive assistant to the superintendent for administration, indicating that required reports have been filed with the Division of Family Services and detailing the facts of the alleged abuse or neglect. In addition, the principal shall request from the Division of Family Services, pursuant to state law, information concerning the disposition of the reports filed within 30 days of making the required report. The disposition of the reports shall be forwarded to the executive assistant to the superintendent for administration when received.
The executive assistant to the superintendent for administration shall, based upon the information provided by the principal, determine whether immediate corrective action should be taken.
When the Division of Family Services receives a child abuse report which alleges that a school employee has abused or neglected a student, the report is immediately referred to the superintendent (or the president of the board in situations concerning the superintendent) who will conduct an initial investigation. If it is determined that the sole purpose of the report is to harass a school employee, the superintendent or board president will jointly investigate the matter with the juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer. Findings and conclusions will be issued as required by Mo. Rev. Stat. § 160.261 (2000).
Child Abuse and/or Neglect (continued) R4845
All other reports of any nature will be immediately returned to the Division of Family Services for investigation, and the superintendent will take no further action.
Nothing in this regulation should be construed as discouraging or prohibiting any employee from also reporting any suspected case directly to the Division of Family Services. Employees participating in good faith in the making of such a report are immune from any liability, civil or criminal, by reason of such participation. An employee, however, violating any provision of the state regulations may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
The executive assistant to the superintendent for administration shall maintain records of all child abuse and/or neglect complaints filed. A comprehensive summary of new reports shall be furnished to the board no less than every three months.
Public School District Liaison
The superintendent shall designate an employee to serve as the school district liaison. The liaison shall develop protocol in conjunction with the chief investigator of the St. Louis office of the Missouri Division of Family Services to insure information regarding an investigation is shared with appropriate school personnel.
The liaison will also serve on multidisciplinary teams used in providing protective or preventative social services along with law enforcement, the juvenile officer, the juvenile court, and other agencies, both public and private.
Legal: The Child Protection and Reformation Laws of Missouri,
Regulation approved: February 13, 1996
Revised: December 8, 1998
Revised: November 12, 2002
Revised: January 14, 2003
Revised: October 12, 2004