Are school board members considered mandatory reporters? If not, how should a board member address the issue of child abuse inside the district or outside of the district?
While board members are not “legally” listed as mandatory reporters, there is a moral obligation when in a leadership position involving children to make sure that when a school board member has a reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused, the board member will make sure the suspected abuse IS reported. Our recommendation for reports from inside the school district is for board members to take the issue directly to the superintendent, and let him/her follow up and report. If for some reason this is an issue outside the school district, the board member may report to the police or other appropriate authority directly. We recommend the board member not report to anyone other than the Superintendent inside the school district. Board members interacting directly with staff on this issue other than the Superintendent can cause confusion in the same way any complaint taken directly to an administrator or teacher can do.