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Board Policy 0127 - Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Purpose

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring that all employees, contractors and volunteers are informed of the obligation to report suspected child abuse, be it physical, sexual, mental injury, or child neglect in accordance with Maryland law, and of the consequences for failing to do so. Our priority is to provide a quality education to all students in a safe and secure environment, which requires those individuals employed or engaged in the PGCPS community to recognize and report any suspicious or inappropriate behavior towards students in our care.

Maryland State law mandates the direct reporting of suspected child abuse, be it physical, sexual, mental injury or child neglect, by every professional employee of any school who has reason to believe that a child has been abused by a parent, legal guardian or custodian of a child under the age of 18 years. (Maryland Code, Family Law Article §5-701; COMAR 07.02.07.04.) By adoption of this policy, we extend this reporting obligation to all employees, contractors, and volunteers who work with the school system.

Any PGCPS employee, contractor or volunteer must report suspected child abuse or neglect: (1) immediately, by oral report to Child Protective Services; and (2) following the oral report, in writing, within 48 hours of the contact that revealed the suspected abuse or neglect. Where school personnel, contractors or volunteers are unsure whether abuse or neglect has taken place, the employee, contractor or volunteer should promptly discuss the situation with the local Department of Social Services.

Formal investigation procedures - distinct from any personnel or labor relations procedures - are the responsibility of Child Protective Services and law enforcement agencies to which the report is made. Maryland law provides immunity from civil liability or criminal penalty for any individual who reports suspected abuse or neglect in good faith, or who participates in any investigation or judicial proceeding resulting from the report.

About This Policy

Updated July 19, 2016

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