Showing 37 posts in Mandated Reporter.
On January 28, 2020, I will be participating in a webinar about mandated reporting laws and dilemmas that we face in applying those laws.
I ran across a report of another teacher prosecuted for failure to make a mandated report. The news story about the jury verdict finding her guilty was not very helpful, as it simply repeated the prosecution’s charge that, “having reasonable cause to believe that a child known to her in her professional capacity was an abused child, failed to make a report.” A more recent news story, reporting on her being sentenced to probation, relayed the prosecutors’ contention that a friend of the victim told the teacher about the abuse, but the teacher “did not believe her and did not make the required call.”
An incident from Vermont illustrates a not-uncommon conundrum for mandated reporters, deciding when to report sexual activity by minors above the age of consent. The pastor of a church learned of consensual sexual activity between a minor in the church and the church’s youth pastor. Because the girl was 16 year old, the age of consent in Vermont, the pastor’s lawyer initially told him that he did not need to report it.
A recent court ruling continues the trend of insanity surrounding teenage sexting. A 16-year-old girl performed oral sex on a male friend, and one of them videoed it. The girl later sent the video to two friends by text message. When she later fell out with one of the friends, he showed the video to a school police officer. The prosecutor charged her with distributing child pornography, and Maryland’s highest appellate court recently affirmed the conviction.
USA Swimming is caught up on the same allegations that roiled USA Gymnastics. An explosive newspaper report and lawsuit allege that USA Swimming covered for pedophile coaches. The group blamed the problems on the prior administration, but like clockwork, the lawsuit recently added USA Swimming as a defendant. According to the lawyers’ press release about the amended complaint, USA Swimming disregarded other reports of abuse of another athlete by another coach. I’m not certain how the other reports relate to the alleged abuse of the named plaintiff or whether the amended complaint is accurate; however, the claims in the press release offer another case study of how not to handle mandated reporting responsibilities.
The most recent APSAC Advisor has an excellent article about an important issue — the myth that mandated reporters are immune from liability for reporting their suspicions of child abuse. Every training I have ever attended has reassured mandated reporters that they will face no repercussions from making a report. That information is flat-out wrong — the system does not have the protections it needs for mandated reporters.
Minnesota Public Radio recently had an excellent report on the problems of homeless youth. One aspect that struck me was the unintentional consequences of mandated reporter policies:
One vexing question in the mandated reporter area is when to report children who appear to have no adults supervising them. It is more difficult than most situations of abuse or neglect because there is a growing body of research that children need unsupervised time to develop into psychologically healthy adults.
From Connecticut comes this story of a former high school teacher charged with failing to make a mandated report of child sexual abuse two years ago. According to the warrant, a student told him that she had been forced into sex at a party in 2016, but he failed to relay the report to any authorities. His explanation to the investigating officer was that the girl’s report “was vague.”
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