3054: Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect

Because of their daily contact with school-age children, educators and other school employees are in a unique position to identify abused and/or neglected children. Nebraska law defines child abuse or neglect as knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting a minor child to be (1) placed in a situation that endangers his or her life or physical or mental health; (2) cruelly confined or cruelly punished; (3) deprived of necessary food, clothing, shelter or care; (4) left unattended in a motor vehicle, if such child is six years of age or younger; (5) sexually abused; or (6) sexually exploited by allowing, encouraging, or forcing such person to solicit for or engage in prostitution, debauchery, public indecency, or obscene or pornographic photography, films, or depictions.

Reporting Procedure. School employees who have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or observe a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in child abuse or neglect will report the suspected abuse or neglect according to the following procedure.

  1. Any school employee who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the suspicion to the building principal immediately. Employees shall also personally report or cause a report to be made to local law enforcement or to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. When the principal makes a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, he/she shall inform the employee(s) who made the initial report.
  3. Nothing in the paragraph above shall hinder a school employee from fulfilling his/her/their obligation to report suspected abuse or neglect if he, she or they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.
  4. Any doubt or question in reporting such cases shall be resolved in the favor of reporting the suspected abuse or neglect. Consultation between the administrator and school employee is encouraged, keeping in mind that prompt reporting is essential.

Contents of the Report. The report to authorities shall contain the following information to the extent it is available: (1) name and position of reporting person; (2) name, address, and age of abused or neglected person; (3) address of the person or persons having custody of the abused or neglected person; (4) the nature and extent of the abuse or neglect, or the conditions and circumstances which would reasonably result in such abuse or neglect; and (5) any other information that may be useful in establishing the identity of the persons involved and cause of the abuse or neglect.

Legal Immunity. Nebraska statutes give legal immunity from any civil or criminal liability to any person who makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect or participates in a judicial proceeding resulting from such a report.

Adopted on: June 8, 2009
Revised on: December 10, 2018
Reviewed on: November 14, 2011
Reviewed on: May 9, 2022