Training on Kentucky’s law on reporting child abuse
PADUCAH, KY – County Attorney Sam Clymer and LOTUS program director Grace Stewart worked with McCracken County administrators and guidance counselors to train them on how to report child abuse. The training was sparked by allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct, and failure to report involving high school faculty, a teacher, and student.
Clymer says under state law, anyone who suspects or knows about potential abuse is required to report it to three proper authorities. The three authorities include law enforcement, child protective services, and both the County attorney and commonwealth attorney. He says it’s very important that school employees follow these procedures.
“The fact is the government can’t step in and provide assistance if we don’t know, so that’s the point of the reporting requirements to make sure the government knows,” Clymer says.
Clymer says the hope is that administrators will take this training back to their schools and pass it along to teachers and to other people who work in the school system.
“We know that children can be vulnerable and so this law exists to protect the vulnerable,” says Grace Stewart with child advocacy center LOTUS.
Stewart also participated in the McCracken County School training. She says the recent allegations should make everyone pay more attention to reporting procedures.
“I think anytime something happens in our community it definitely shines a light it and so I think it was again an opportunity to discuss something that has been discussed, but the more times we discuss important issues like mandatory reporting the better,” says Stewart.
Clymer says everyone has an obligation to report abuse.
“Every individual person has an individual duty to communicate a reasonable belief of dependency, neglect, or abuse,” says Clymer.
Clymer says he will be writing a letter detailing what teachers need to know when reporting abuse. It’s unclear how or if administrators will relay the training to teachers and other school employees. Paducah City Schools contacted Clymer and say they want to do the same training. That training will happen next week.
To read all of our stories about the investigations into McCracken County High School; click here.