School District Homepage
|School District of Philadelphia|
|Policy and Procedures|
|Subject||Accident, Illness & Incident Reports|
Guidelines for Report and Investigation of
Alleged Sexual and Serious Physical
Misconduct with Children by Employees
|Date Issued||August, 1995|
|Issued by||Office Of The Deputy Superintendent|
|Review Before||As needed|
PA Law (Act 151 of 1994) requires that all allegations by students "of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation," by school employees or the employees of independent contractors working in the schools or with students, be reported to the authorities set forth below. As previously provided for in the PA Child Protective Services Act (see #111.6 through #111.13), good faith reports by school employees are subject to civil immunity, and the failure to report is subject to criminal sanctions.
A. Sexual Abuse or Exploitation
The rape, molestation, incest, prostitution or other form of sexual exploitation of children, including the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of any child to engage in or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct, or any simulation of any sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of any sexually explicit conduct.
B. Serious Bodily Injury
Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.
The principal or other administrator in charge must make the following calls in the order shown:
1. Police Department - 911
2. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office - 686-8096, 8014, 8080
3. Parent or emergency contact
4. Incident Control Desk - 875-3613 - 3615
5. Cluster Leader or other administrator to whom the school directly reports
6. Office of General Counsel - 299-7676
The report shall include:
a) the name, age, address and school of the student(s);
b) name and address of the student's parent or guardian;
c) name and address of the person making the report;
d) name, work and home address of the employee who is the subject of the report;
e) the nature of the alleged offense;
f) any specific comments or observations directly related to the alleged incident or the parties involved.
The content or existence of an allegation or report may not be disseminated to any other person or agency without the approval of the Office of General Counsel. (Note: formal investigations will be carried out jointly by the police and Department of Human Services, and cooperation with that investigation is required).
C. An incident Follow-up Report shall be filed after the investigation. This report shall include the following information:
1. Name, age, address of the complainant
2. Name, age, address and grade of victim
3. Name and job title of accused employee
4. Name, age, address, and job title or age and grade, if applicable, of all witnesses
5. Description of place(s) where events allegedly occurred
6. Date(s) and time(s) when events allegedly occurred
7. Verbatim transcription of child's allegations. The transcription should be made by someone other than the interviewer (e.g., secretary) to ensure accuracy and facilitate questioning. Whenever possible a staff member who is the same sex as the child (e.g., nurse, counselor, vice principal) should be present. In some situations, it may be advisable for this staff member to conduct the questioning, depending upon the age and personal modesty of the child.
8. The names, addresses or locations of any witnesses revealed by the investigation or identified by the student or employee.
9. Record names and job titles of all employees who participate in the investigation.
2. The School District should not postpone its decision regarding removal or suspension of an employee (with or without pay) because of a delay in the completion of the police or DHS investigation. Suspension of an employee must follow appropriate due process. Any questions should be referred to Labor Relations or the Office of General Counsel. In the event an employee is suspended (with or without pay) it is imperative that the Office of Human Resources is notified. Under no circumstances may an employee be suspended without first being given notice of the charges and opportunity to respond to those charges. The parent(s) of the accusing student(s) should be advised that without a criminal conviction their child's testimony will be needed if the case reaches the arbitration level regarding the accused's status as a School District employee. They should understand that the criminal and administrative processes are separate and apart.
IV. CONFIDENTIALITY OF INVESTIGATION
Accusations, the nature of which are the subject of these reporting procedures, can severely damage the reputation of the accused. These accusations may also disrupt a school community and result in additional trauma to a victim. It is, therefore, imperative that only those people with a need to know be involved in the investigation. Anyone involved in the investigation must be cautioned that any breach of confidentiality could result in personal liability (civil and monetary) for the employee as well as disciplinary action.