The Jefferson City School District and its employees will take action to protect students and other
children from harm including, but not limited to, abuse and neglect, and will respond immediately
when discovering evidence of harm to a child. Employees must cooperate fully with investigations
of child abuse and neglect. The district prohibits discrimination, negative job action or retaliation
against any district employee who in good faith reports alleged child abuse or neglect, including
alleged misconduct by another district employee.
Employees failing to follow the directives of this policy or state or federal law will be subject to
discipline including, but not limited to, termination, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Public School District Liaison
The superintendent shall designate a specific person or persons to serve as the public school district
liaison(s) and forward that information to the local division office of the Children's Division (CD)
of the Department of Social Services. The liaison(s) shall develop protocols in conjunction with the
chief investigator of the local division office to ensure information regarding the status of a child
abuse or neglect investigation is shared with appropriate school personnel.
The liaison(s) will also serve on multidisciplinary teams used in providing protective or preventive
social services along with law enforcement, the juvenile officer, the juvenile court and other
agencies, both public and private.
It will be the responsibility of the liaison(s) to arrange for training and information necessary to assist
staff members in identifying possible instances of child abuse and neglect, including annual updates
regarding any changes in the law. Additionally, the liaison is charged with implementing a planned
program of personal safety and awareness education, including methods for preventing sexual abuse,
that shall be provided to teachers, students and parents/guardians.
Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect
The Board of Education requires its staff members to comply with the state child abuse and neglect
laws and the mandatory reporting of suspected neglect and/or abuse. Any school official or
employee acting in his or her official capacity who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a
child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or who observes the child being subjected to conditions
or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, will immediately make a report
to the school principal or designee, including any report of excessive absences that may indicate
educational neglect. The school principal or designee will then become responsible for making a
report via the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline to the CD, as required by law. This policy does not
preclude any employee from directly reporting abuse or neglect to CD; however, the school official
or employee must notify the school principal or designee immediately after making a report.
In accordance with law, if a student reports alleged sexual misconduct on the part of a school district
employee to an employee of this district, the employee who receives the report and the
superintendent shall forward the allegation to the CD within 24 hours of receiving the information.
The school principal or designee will inform the superintendent or designee and the liaison(s) that
a report has been made and will keep them aware of the status of the case. The school principal or
designee may also notify law enforcement or the juvenile office when appropriate. If the school
principal or designee has reason to believe that a victim of such abuse or neglect is a resident of
another state or was injured as a result of an act that occurred in another state, then, in addition to
notifying the Missouri CD pursuant to this policy, he or she may also make a report to the child
protection agency with the authority to receive such reports, pursuant to law, in the other state.
Investigating Child Abuse/Neglect
Except in situations involving sexual misconduct, when the CD receives a child abuse report alleging
that an employee of the district has abused a student, the report shall be immediately referred to the
superintendent (or the president of the School Board in situations concerning the superintendent),
who will conduct an initial investigation. If the initial investigation determines that the report relates
to a spanking by a certificated district employee or the use of reasonable physical force against a
student for the protection of persons or property by any district personnel administered pursuant to
district policy, or if it is determined that the sole purpose of the report is to harass a district
employee, the report will be investigated as detailed below in accordance with law. All other reports
of any nature will be immediately returned to the CD for investigation, and the superintendent (or
Board president, if applicable) will take no further action.
Harassment, Spanking or Protection of Persons or Property
If the report relates to a spanking by a certificated district employee or the use of reasonable physical
force against a student for the protection of persons or property by any district personnel
administered pursuant to district policy, or if it is determined that the sole purpose of the report is
to harass a district employee, the superintendent, Board president or a designee of either will notify
the juvenile officer of the county in which the alleged incident occurred. The district will jointly
investigate the matter with the juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the
juvenile officer. The superintendent, Board president and their designees are authorized to contact
and utilize the district's attorney to assist in the investigation.
Once the investigation is concluded, the juvenile officer or law enforcement officer and the
investigating district personnel will issue separate reports of their findings, no later than seven days
after the district receives notice of the allegation from the CD. The reports must contain a statement
of conclusion as to whether the preponderance of evidence supports a finding that the alleged
incident of child abuse is substantiated or unsubstantiated. The Board will consider the separate
reports and will issue its findings and conclusions, if any, within seven days after receiving the last
of the two reports. The findings and conclusions will be made as required by state law and will be
sent to the CD.
Sexual Misconduct Involving an Employee
The district takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously, regardless of the source. When an
allegation is made, district employees will immediately take appropriate action to protect students
and other children, which will include reporting to the CD in accordance with Board policy and
notifying the superintendent. The superintendent or designee will contact law enforcement, suspend
the employee pending an investigation, and begin an investigation.
In accordance with law, if a student reports alleged sexual misconduct on the part of a teacher or
other employee of a school district to a district employee, the employee who receives the report shall
notify the superintendent immediately and forward the allegation to the CD within 24 hours of
receiving the information. The superintendent will also forward the allegation to the CD within 24
hours of receiving the report. The CD will investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct involving
Referral to the Office of Child Advocate for Children's Protection and Services
If the CD determines that a report of child abuse or neglect is unsubstantiated, the district or a district
employee may request that the report be referred to the Office of Child Advocate for Children's
Protection and Services for additional review.
Information from the Children's Division
In accordance with law, as mandated reporters district employees reporting child abuse and neglect
are entitled upon request to information on the general disposition of a report of child abuse or
neglect and may receive findings and information concerning the case at the discretion of the CD.
The CD will also notify the district when a student is under judicial custody or when a case is active
regarding a student.
Any information received from the CD will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with law and
will only be shared with district employees who need to know the information to appropriately
supervise the student or for intervention and counseling purposes. All written information received
by any public school district liaison or the district shall be subject to the provisions of the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information received from the CD will not be
included in the student's permanent record.
In accordance with law, any person who in good faith reports child abuse or neglect; cooperates with
the CD or any law enforcement agency, juvenile office, court, or child-protective service agency of
this or any other state in reporting or investigating child abuse or neglect; or participates in any
judicial proceeding resulting from the report will be immune from civil or criminal liability.
Any person who is not an employee of the district and who in good faith reports to a district
employee a case of alleged child abuse by any district employee will be immune from civil or
criminal liability for making such a report or for participating in any judicial proceedings resulting
from the report.
* * * * * * *
In the event of a discrepancy between an administrative procedure and a Board policy, the Board
policy will take precedence.
Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section
for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for
Revised: 10/07/2002; 06/12/2006; 02/13/2012; 05/14/2012
Cross Refs: AC, Prohibition against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
GBH, Staff/Student Relations
GCPD, Suspension of Professional Staff Members
GCPE, Termination of Professional Staff Members
GCPF, Nonrenewal of Professional Staff Members
GDPD, Nonrenewal, Suspension and Termination of Support Staff Members
Legal Refs: §§ 160.261, 167.122 - .123, 210.110 - .165, .865, RSMo.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g
Jefferson City School District, Jefferson City, Missouri
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