If you know or have reason to believe one of your students has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, Arizona law requires that you report it to Department of Child Safety, the police or sheriff’s department, or the Arizona Department of Education (if the suspected abuser has a certificate).
It is not sufficient to simply report it to the administration.
For the child’s protection-and yours-report any suspicion you have right away, even if you are unsure. The law requires a report to be made within 24 hours of the time you have reason to believe there is abuse or neglect. The law also provides you with immunity for reports made in good faith.
Do not take it upon yourself to investigate whether abuse occurred. If you are unsure, you should err on the side of reporting and leave the investigation to the proper authorities.
One sign or symptom may not necessarily indicate child abuse or neglect, but some clues might lead you to suspect it:
- A child who has a pattern of unexplained injuries or an inordinate number of “explained” ones
- A child who comes to school inappropriately dressed for the season
- A child who is habitually late or often absent from school
- A child who arrives early and leaves late because he or she is reluctant to go home
- A child who is unusually fearful of adults or other children
- A child who goes to the bathroom with difficulty or has trouble sitting
- A child who is constantly tired, thin or shows evidence of malnutrition