Possible Jail Time for Teachers that Didn't Report Abuse

May 06, 2013 by Brian Kiley

Did you know it’s against the law to not report child abuse? Three school administers in Tennessee learned this lesson the hard way and were arrested and indicted for failing to report abuse perpetrated by one child against others. They face a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail for not reporting the incident to proper authorities.

Tennessee Teachers Didn't Report Abusive First Grader

If convicted, the these women – all mandatory reporters under the law – will be serving a relatively light punishment as some states have penalties that include five years in prison, fines reaching $10,000, and even the possibility of assuming civil liability. The penalties imposed for failing to report child abuse vary widely based on state, but as long as you report any suspected abuse to authorities or a trusted supervisor you should be in the clear. You can visit ChildWelfare.gov to get more info about the mandatory child abuse reporting laws in your state as well as possible penalties.

Child abuse prevention is a chief concern among individuals who work with children, but the focus is placed primarily on recognizing abuse. Abuse recognition is important, but knowing what to do once you suspect child abuse is occurring is equally important. Reporting abuse is the only way to start the process of identifying the abuser and preventing further abuse. Do you know what to do and who to report to if you suspect a child is being abused? If you aren’t sure of the specific steps to take at your organization, ask a supervisor, executive or HR associate right away.

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