The Board recognizes that because of their sustained contact with school-age children, teachers and other school employees are in a position to help identify and report suspected child abuse and neglect.
In compliance with the Child Protective Services Act, §14-3-201 through 215, Wyoming Statutes, it will be the policy of the Campbell County School District to report abuse or neglect whenever any person knows or has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected, or observes any child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.
The statute requires that if a person reporting child abuse or neglect is a member of the staff of the school, he or she is to notify the principal, or designee, as soon as possible, who is thereupon also responsible to make the report or cause the report to be made. Because of this requirement, any teacher or employee having any such knowledge is to make an initial report to the principal, or designee, of the school the child attends. The principal, or designee, will then notify the Superintendent, or designee.
The report by a teacher or employee to the principal does not relieve that individual of their obligation to report on his or her own behalf unless a report has already been made or will be made. The Wyoming Statutes are mandatory and absolutely require that a report be made. Failure to report would violate this provision of the law.
Reports are required to be given to the Department of Family Services (DFS) or a local law enforcement agency. The reports can be submitted in written form or by phone (doing both is recommended). Wyoming law requires that a written report from DFS be submitted back to the reporting party confirming or not confirming the facts reported; however, a written report may be dispensed with for good cause.
School employees will not contact the child's family or other person to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or neglect. It is not the responsibility of the school employee to prove a child has been abused or neglected, or to determine whether the child is in need of protection.
"Abuse" means inflicting or causing physical or mental injury, harm or imminent danger to the physical or mental health or welfare of the child other than by accidental means, including abandonment, excessive or unreasonable corporal punishment, malnutrition or substantial risk thereof by reason of intentional or unintentional neglect, and the commission or allowing the commission of a sexual offense against a child as defined by law.
"Neglect" means a failure or refusal by those responsible for the child's welfare to provide adequate care, maintenance, supervision, education or medical, surgical or any other care necessary for the child's well being.
Interviewing of Alleged Victims During School Hours
The Department of Family Services and appropriate law enforcement agencies, upon making arrangements with the principal, or designee, of the school the student attends, will be allowed to interview alleged child abuse or neglect victims during school hours at a time and place convenient for the school and child, as determined by the principal, or designee. The principal, or designee, will be expected to be present during the interview process.
When investigating a report, the principal or designee shall endeavor to obtain, when possible, the consent of a parent or guardian to interview the child, except in those cases which there is reason to believe that a parent or guardian is the perpetrator of the alleged abuse.
June 26, 1984; Editorial Revision August 14, 1984; Revised July 12, 1993; Renumbered May 22, 1995 (formerly 4290); Reviewed October 23, 2007; Revised August 23, 2016
State Statute 14-3-201 through 215