OPS policy, state law give different instructions for reporting abuse

February 18, 2019 

If you see something, say something.

Omaha Public Schools officials pounded that message home to employees after a teacher at Fontenelle Elementary School was arrested last fall on suspicion of molesting students.

Extra training provided this winter to all district staff emphasized that each employee, whether janitors, principals, teachers or administrators, is a mandatory reporter under state law.

The training materials instructed employees to first report to Child Protective Services, then notify the building principal, and the principal will notify the district’s human resources office.

But the district’s own written policy on reporting abuse, adopted by the school board in 2012 and in effect when the Fontenelle situation arose, is not as clear as the message delivered in the training.

The language in the policy first lists that an employee should tell the principal, then states that authorities should also be notified. Read Article.