Reporting 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 child abuse or neglect as knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting a minor child 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; (5) sexually abused; or (6) sexually exploited by allowing, encouraging, or forcing such person to solicit for or engage in prostitution, debauchery, public indecency, or obscene or pornographic photography, films, or depictions.
Reporting Procedure. School employees who have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or observe a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in child abuse or neglect will report the suspected abuse or neglect according to the following procedure.
1. Any school employee who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the suspicion to the building principal immediately.
2. The principal and the school nurse and/or the school guidance counselor shall, whenever possible, investigate the concern within 24 hours of receiving the initial report. The school staff shall endeavor to conduct this investigation in a manner that does not interfere with any current or future investigation by law enforcement. 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 have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.
3. Any doubt or question in reporting such cases shall be resolved in the favor of reporting the suspected abuse or neglect. 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: August 12, 2013
Revised on: _________________________
Reviewed on: April 14, 2014
Reviewed on March 13, 2016