The Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse in Schools

February 21, 2015

Teachers and Staff Must Report Child Sexual Abuse That Happens at School

Many people who work with children in schools and day care centers know that they are required to report any suspicions of child sexual abuse to the authorities or their employers. They’ve generally received some training in spotting the signs of all kinds of abuse in children and how to report the signs appropriately, and this can help uncover instances of child abuse in the home or family—but what happens when the abuse happens on school grounds or with a staff member?

Although many types of school employees are “mandatory reporters” for child sexual abuse, there can be a lot of problems with reporting suspicions of sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, or even principal. Training may not always address how to handle reporting when a coworker or supervisor is suspected of abuse, and some schools don’t have appropriate policies in place to handle allegations and complaints that are reported.

Schools have a duty to provide a safe environment for children, and that duty includes taking appropriate measures to:

  • Train staff to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse.
  • Include training on what to do when a staff member is suspected of abuse.
  • Put policies in place to prevent potential abuse by teachers and staff.
  • Include additional staff members, such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and others, in sexual-abuse training.
  • Track, analyze, and follow up on reports of suspected abuse by school personnel.

If you suspect that your child may have been abused by a teacher or staff member at school, don’t wait any longer to get answers. Our experienced legal team is standing by at 312-332-1400 to help you with your concerns.

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