Kane school staff must report child abuse

Alleged incidents of child abuse and sexual abuse—along with alleged cover-ups---recently have been linked with schools and universities in Pennsylvania.In the Kane Area School District, all employees have the “obligation” to report suspected cases of abuse involving students. Failure to do so could lead to dismissal and possible criminal charges.Dr. Maryann Anderson, superintendent of the school district, said all school employees are “mandatory reporters” of suspected abuse.This means school employees are required to “immediately” report suspected abuse to the building principal, Anderson said.“If you suspect it, you have to report it,” she said.Reports of abuse also are “immediately” forwarded to the state Childline Abuse Registry and to the county Children and Youth Services (CYS) agency, Anderson said.“We have reported cases to CYS and they follow up on them,” Anderson said.The school district cooperates with CYS in the investigation of suspected cases of physical and sexual abuse involving children, Anderson said.If a school employee is linked with the alleged abuse case, building principals are required to “immediately” contact law enforcement officials and the county district attorney.School administrators who fail to notify police and the district attorney of alleged physical or sexual abuse involving a student and school employee will face criminal charges, according to the Kane school policy.Anderson said the “mandatory” reporting of suspected abuse is outlined for school employees at various staff meetings. Substitute teachers and aides also are made aware of the abuse-reporting obligation before they begin work for the school district.See full article by purchasing the Dec. 8 edition of The Kane Republican.