Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New York mandated reporting laws - limitations for yeshiva teachers

NY has two mandated reporting laws, one in the Social Service Law; and the other in the Education Law.

The Social Service Law lists school officials and teachers as mandated reporters of abuse. That type of abuse is limited to parent-child abuse, or guardian-child abuse.Also when I called the NYS hot line to ask whether the law means both public and private school officials and teachers, they said, yes.

The Education Law mandated reporting statute applies to abuse inflicted by school teachers and any other employees, and is specifically limited to public schools, no question about that.


  1. WADR, you got the law wrong, and as you know how important this is I hope you retract this post and put up a new one clarifying for the readers what the law is here.

    It's not true that the SOS law only requires teachers and school officials to report guardian-child abuse, and in fact even private school teachers are required to report any kind of abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse of a child coming before them.

    Source, NY SOS §413:

    The following persons and officials are required to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with this title when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated child, or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian or other person legally responsible for such child comes before them in their professional or official capacity and states from personal knowledge facts, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child an abused or maltreated child: ...school official, which includes but is not limited
    to school teacher... Whenever such person is required to report under this title in his or her capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, he or she shall make the report as required by this title and immediately notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or his or her designated agent. Such person in charge, or the designated agent of such person, shall be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.

  2. From the web site of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, explaining Social Services Law section 413:

    "Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment when they are presented with a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment in a situation where a child, parent, or other person legally responsible for the child is before the mandated reporter when the mandated reporter is acting in his or her official or professional capacity. “Other person legally responsible” refers to a guardian, caretaker, or other person 18 years of age or older who is responsible for the care of the child."

    DT got the law right.

  3. Now from the the NYS Education Law:

    § 1125. Definitions. For the purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following meanings:
    1. "Child abuse" shall mean any of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child:
    (a) intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or (b) intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or (c) any child sexual abuse as defined in
    this section, or (d) the commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors pursuant to article two hundred thirty-five of the penal law."

  4. From Education Law section 1125(5):

    5. "Educational setting" shall mean the building and grounds of a public school district, the vehicles provided by the school district for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities both on and off
    school district grounds, all co-curricular and extra-curricular activity sites, and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

  5. From Education Law section 1126:

    § 1126. Duties of employees specifically enumerated in this section upon receipt of an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting.
    1. In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school nurse, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, school board member or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or
    certificate, that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, such person shall upon receipt of such allegation:
    (a) promptly complete a written report of such allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused;....

  6. "Ploni" seems to feel the quote he dug up for a comment at 11:26 somehow proves me wrong; how is inexplicable to me. It seems only to prove the point I made in the initial comment that DT was wrong in thinking "the SOS law only requires teachers and school officials to report guardian-child abuse." What the other comments have to do with anything is also beyond me, as I didn't mention the Education Law.

    Here I'll remind DT that, as we all agree the law is important, I do think he ought to clarify the truth with another post. I suppose that's all I can do. Kol tuv.

  7. Baruch the post is part of a letter I got from a lawyer who is active in dealing with child abuse in New York.

    I don't see that there is any disagreement between us. The letter states that there is no difference between public and private school teachers for reporting abuse by parents.

    But there is a difference in reporting abuse by school employees. Apparently private school employees do not need to report abuse by other employees while public school employees do.


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