UPPAC Q&A: When to Report Suspected Child Abuse?

Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission Q & AQ: A child in my 2nd grade class has come to school three times in the last two months with excessive (it seems to me) bruises and scrapes on her legs and arms. Her arm is in a sling since last weekend. Should I report suspected child abuse to the Division of Child and Family Services? -Second Grade Teacher

Should I report suspected child abuse to the Division of Child and Family Services?

A: You should use your professional judgment to determine if there is a reportable suspicion of abuse. The standard to report is “reason to believe” (about 10 percent likelihood). You should make the report personally (according to Utah law). You also may report to the school principal or school counselor, consistent with school/school district policy.

What is UPPAC? UPPAC is a committee of nine educators and two community members charged with maintaining and promoting a high standard of professional conduct and ethics among Utah teachers. It is advisory to the Utah State Board of Education in making recommendations regarding educator licensing and may take appropriate disciplinary action regarding educator misconduct.

For more information about UPPAC or to submit your questions to the UPPAC Q&A, contact William Spiegel at william.spiegel@schools.utah.gov or by phone at 801-538-7500.

Read the UPPAC newsletter, “Utah School Law Update,” for more Utah public education legal news and information.

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