Mandated Reporters: Vol. 100, part a
SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-Vol. 100
This is a difficult topic. It should not be, but it is because we are humans and care about others. It is difficult because there are laws in all 50 states and the territories of the United States then there are policies in every school district within these states and territories. They all differ slightly, but they also all share some common traits.
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The need for this topic is in the news over and over. See below for a few examples
Three Robertson County administrators were arrested for not reporting alleged cases of child sex abuse in Cross Plains, TN.
Karen Fehrman, 46, Principal of East Robertson Elementary School; 30-year-old Kecia Young, Assistant Principal of East Robertson Elementary School; and 62-year-old Donna Dorris, Supervisor of Student Services/Records for Robertson County Schools were arrested.
They faced charges of failure to report known or suspected child sexual abuse. Communications Coordinator with Robertson County Schools, Jim Bellis, issued a statement after the arrest. “Robertson County Schools cooperated fully with the Sheriff’s Office during their investigation. As a district, we are shocked that the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office have pursued this matter to this point after examining the documented facts.”
The school employees were booked into the Robertson County Detention Center and released on $1,000 bonds.
The parents say the educators didn’t do enough to protect the children.
“They complained to the teachers, the teachers and principals did nothing responsive to those complaints,” “I don’t think these are people with bad intentions. I think these are people who are untrained want them to start paying attention to dangerous situations with children,” he continued. The charges were later dropped for a lack of evidence
A principal and three of his teachers have been arrested and booked into jail on charges of failing to report. This story comes out of Alabama but could take place almost any day and in almost any state. This case has not yet been tried and the accused may be declared guilty or innocent. Regardless of that outcome, they have stirred anger among parents. They have been humiliated and embarrassed in their community. An attorney for one or more of them has stated that they were acting within school policy and were still within the investigation phase of the incident with Mandated Reporters plans of filing the mandated report. Prosecutors have taken the position that state law requires filing the report immediately and thus ordered the arrests after presenting the case to a Grand Jury. Obviously, lives have been disrupted; perhaps damaged beyond recovery professionally. The entire community is in turmoil and taking sides.