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JHFE - Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse

Code: JHFE
Adopted: 8/13/97
Re-adopted: 3/8/06, 2/8/12, 11/13/13, 4/8/2020
 

Any district employee who has reasonable cause to believe that any child with whom the employee has come in contact has suffered abuse[1] shall orally report or cause an oral report immediately by telephone or otherwise to the local office of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) or its designee or to the local law enforcement agency within the county where the person making the report is located at the time of the contact pursuant to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 419B.010. Any district employee who has reasonable cause to believe that any adult or student with whom the employee is in contact has abused a child shall immediately report or cause a report to be made in the same manner to DHS or its designee or to the law enforcement agency within the county where the person making the report is located at the time of the contact pursuant to ORS 419.010. If known, the report shall contain the names and addresses of the child and the parents of the child or other persons responsible for the child’s care, the child’s age, the nature and extent of the suspected abuse, including any evidence of previous abuse, the explanation given for the suspected abuse, any other information that the person making the report believes might be helpful in establishing the possible cause of the abuse and the identity of a possible perpetrator.

Abuse of a child by district employees, contractors[2], agents[3], volunteers[4] or students will not be tolerated. All district employees, contractors, agents, volunteers and students are subject to this policy and the accompanying administrative regulation.

Any district employee who has reasonable cause to believe that another district employee, contractor, agent, volunteer or student has engaged in abuse, or that a student has been subjected to abuse by another district employee, contractor, agent, volunteer or student shall immediately report such to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) or its designee or the local law enforcement agency pursuant to ORS 419B015 and to the designated licensed administrator.

The district will designate a licensed administrator[5] and an alternate licensed administrator, in the event that the designated licensed administrator is the suspected abuser, for each school building to receive reports of suspected abuse of a child by district employees, contractors, agents, volunteers or students. If the superintendent is the alleged perpetrator, the report shall be submitted to the Human Resources Director who shall also report to the Board Chair.

The district will post the name and contact information of the designee for each school building designated to receive reports of suspected abuse and the procedures the designee will follow upon receipt of a report, the contact information for local law enforcement and the local DHS office or its designee and a statement that the duty to report suspect abuse is in addition to the requirements of reporting to a designated licensed administrator.

When a designee receives a report of suspected abuse, the designee will follow procedure established by the district and set forth in administrative regulation JHFE-AR - Reporting of Suspected Abuse of a Child. All such reports of suspected abuse will be reported to a law enforcement agency or DHS, or its designee, for investigation, and the agency will complete an investigation regardless of any changes in the relationship or duties of the person who is the alleged abuser.

When there is reasonable cause to support the report, a district employee suspected of abuse shall be placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and the district will take necessary actions to ensure the student’s safety. When there is reasonable cause to support the report, a district contractor, agent or volunteer suspected of abuse shall be removed from providing services to the district and the district will take necessary actions to ensure the student’s safety.

The district will notify the person, as allowed by state and federal law, who was subjected to the suspected abuse about any actions taken by the district as a result of the report.

The district will notify the person, as allowed by state and federal law, who was subjected to the suspected abuse about any actions taken by the district as a result of the report.

A substantiated report of abuse by an employee shall be documented in the employee’s personnel file. A substantiated report of abuse by a student shall be documented in the student’s education record.

The initiation of a report in good faith, pursuant to this policy, may not adversely affect any terms or conditions of employment or the work environment of the person initiating the report or who may have been subjected to abuse. If a student initiates a report of suspected abuse of a child by a district employee or a student, contractor, agent, volunteer or student, in good faith, the student will not be disciplined by the district or any district employee, contractor, agent or volunteer. Intentionally making a false report of abuse of a child is a Class A violation.

The district shall provide training each school year to district employees the prevention and identification of abuse the obligations of district employees under ORS 339.388 and ORS 419B.005-419B.050 and as directed by Board policy to report suspected abuse of a child and appropriate electronic communications with students. The district shall make available each school year the training described above to contractors, agents, volunteers, and parents and legal guardians of students attending district operated schools and will be made available separately from the training provided to district employees. The district shall provide each school year information on the prevention and identification of abuse, the obligations of district employees under Board policy to report abuse, and appropriate electronic communications with students to contractors, agents and volunteers. The district shall make available each school year training that is designed to prevent abuse to students attending district-operated schools.

The district shall provide to a district employee at the time of hire, or to a contractor, agent, or volunteer at the time of beginning service for the district, the following:

  1. A description of conduct that may constitute abuse;
  2. A description of the investigatory process and possible consequences if a report of suspected abuse is substantiated; and
  3. A description of the prohibitions imposed on district employees, contractors, and agents when they attempt to obtain a new job, as provided under ORS 339.378. A district employee, contractor or agent will not assist another district employee, contractor or agent in obtaining a new job if the individual knows, or has reasonable or probable cause to believe the district employee, contractor or agent engaged in abuse, unless criteria found in ORS 339.378(2)(c) are applicable.

Nothing in this policy prevents the district from disclosing information required by law or providing the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files pursuant to law.

The district shall make available to students, district employees, contractors, agents, and volunteers a policy of appropriate electronic communications with students.

Any electronic communications with students by a contractor, agent or volunteer for the district will be appropriate and only when directed by district administration. When communicating with students electronically regarding school-related matters, contractors, agents or volunteers shall use district e-mail, using mailing lists and/or other internet messaging to a group of students rather than individual students or as directed by district administration. Texting or electronically communicating with a student through contact information gained as a contractor, agent or volunteer for the district is discouraged.

The superintendent shall develop administrative regulations as are necessary to implement this policy and to comply with state law.


[1] Includes the neglect of a child; abuse is defined in ORS 419B.005.

[2] “Contractor” means a person providing services to the district under a contract in a manner that requires the person to have direct, unsupervised contact with students.

[3] “Agent” means a person acting as an agent for the district in a manner that requires the person to have direct, unsupervised contact with students.

[4] “Volunteer” means a person acting as a volunteer for the district in a manner that requires the person to have direct, unsupervised contact with students. [5] Senate Bill 155 (2019) requires the district to designate a licensed administrator and an alternate licensed administrator in the event the licensed administrator is the alleged abuser for each school building to receive these reports.


Legal Reference(s)

ORS 339.370 - 339.400
ORS 418.746 – 418.751
ORS 419B.005 - 419B.050
OAR 581-022-2205

Senate Bill 155 (2019)

Greene v. Camreta, 588 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2009), vacated in part by, remanded by Camreta v. Greene, 131 S. Ct. 2020 (U.S. 2011); vacated in part, remanded by Greene v. Camreta 661 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2011).