Subchapter B. ABUSE OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOL


INTRODUCTION

Sec.


3490.141.    Applicability.
3490.142.    Purpose.
3490.143.    Definitions.

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES


3490.151.    Required reporting.
3490.152.    Responsibilities of administrators and school employes.
3490.153.    Information provided to the district attorney and law enforcement officials.
3490.154.    Release of information by a school employe including an administrator.

LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES


3490.161.    Responsibilities of law enforcement officials.

COUNTY RESPONSIBILITIES


3490.171.    Receipt and investigation of reports of suspected student abuse.
3490.172.    Coordination of an investigation.
3490.173.    Notifications by the county agency.
3490.174.    Services for students.
3490.175.    Expunction and amendment of reports of student abuse by the county agency.

DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES


3490.181.    Agents of the county agency.
3490.182.    ChildLine files.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT ABUSE


3490.191.    Request by a school employe to amend or expunge an indicated report of student abuse.
3490.192.    Request for a hearing by a school employe for indicated reports of student abuse.
3490.193.    Other provisions.

Source

   The provisions of this Subchapter B adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513, unless otherwise noted.

INTRODUCTION


§ 3490.141. Applicability.

 This subchapter applies to the Department, county agencies, law enforcement officials and schools.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.142. Purpose.

 The purpose of this subchapter is to implement the provisions of the CPSL relating to student abuse.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.143. Definitions.

 In addition to the definitions in §  3490.4 (relating to definitions), the following words and terms, when used this section and § §  3490.141, 3490.142, 3490.151—3490.154, 3490.161, 3490.171—3490.175, 3490.181, 3490.182 and 3490.191—3490.193, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Administrator—The person responsible for the administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school. The term includes an independent contractor.

   Founded report for a school employe—A report of student abuse if there is any judicial adjudication based on a finding that the student suffered serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation, including the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the allegations of student abuse.

   Indicated report for a school employe—A report of student abuse if an investigation by the county agency determines that substantial evidence of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation exists based on one or more of the following:

     (i)   Available medical evidence.

     (ii)   The county agency’s investigation.

     (iii)   An admission of causing serious bodily injury to a student or sexually abusing or exploiting a student by the school employe.

   School—All schools including public and nonpublic schools as defined in the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § §  1-101—27-2702) and private academic schools as defined in 22 Pa. Code Part II (relating to State Board of Private Academic Schools) as follows:

     (i)   Public—School districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter and regional charter school.

     (ii)   Registered—Nonpublic (religiously affiliated schools).

     (iii)   Licensed—Private academic schools that are licensed by the Department of Education (including residential facilities that hire their own staff to teach residents of the facility).

     (iv)   Accredited—Accredited by an accreditation association or organization.

     (v)   State-owned—Scotland School and Scranton School for the Deaf.

   School employe—A person employed by or under contract with a school.

   Student—An individual enrolled in a school who is under 18 years of age.

   Student abuse—One or more of the following:

     (i)   Serious bodily injury.

     (ii)   Sexual abuse or exploitation when committed by a school employe against a student.

   Subjects of a report—The child, parent, guardian or other person responsible for the welfare of the child and the school employe named in a report of suspected student abuse.

   Unfounded report for a school employe—A report of student abuse unless the report is a founded report for a school employe or an indicated report for a school employe.

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES


§ 3490.151. Required reporting.

 (a)  A school employe who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training and experience, that a student coming before the school employe in the employe’s professional or official capacity is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation by another school employe, shall immediately notify the administrator of the alleged abuse or injury.

 (b)  When a school employe learns of suspected student abuse from another person, the school employe shall notify the administrator of the alleged student abuse if the school employe has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training and experience, that the student is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation by a school employe.

 (c)  If an administrator learns of suspected student abuse from another person, the administrator shall make a report of suspected student abuse as required by this subchapter.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.11 (relating to reporting suspected child abuse); and 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.152. Responsibilities of administrators and school employes.

 (a)  An administrator, and in certain cases a school employe, as stated in subsection (b), shall report immediately to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney a report of abuse or injury alleged to have been committed by a school employe against a student. If an administrator is the school employe who suspects injury or abuse, the administrator shall make a report to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney.

 (b)  If the administrator is the employe suspected of abusing the student, the school employe who suspects the abuse shall immediately report that information to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney.

 (c)  The verbal report shall be followed up with a written report on a form provided by the Department. Call (717) 783-1964 to obtain a copy of the form—Report of Suspected Student Abuse (CY 47-D).

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.11 (relating to reporting suspected child abuse); and 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.153. Information provided to the district attorney and law enforcement officials.

 The school official shall provide the following information to the district attorney and law enforcement officials on a form provided by the Department:

   (1)  The name, age and home address of the student.

   (2)  The name and address of the school.

   (3)  The name and address of the student’s parents or guardians.

   (4)  The name and address of the administrator or school employe who made the report.

   (5)  The name, work and home address of the school employe suspected of abusing the student.

   (6)  The nature of the alleged offense.

   (7)  Specific comments or observations that are directly related to the alleged incident and the individuals involved.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.154. Release of information by a school employe including an administrator.

 (a)  Information in a student abuse report is confidential and may only be released by a school employe who made a report of suspected student abuse to:

   (1)  The administrator.

   (2)  A law enforcement official in the course of investigating the allegation of suspected student abuse.

 (b)  This section applies to an administrator when the administrator made the report of suspected student abuse.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES


§ 3490.161. Responsibilities of law enforcement officials.

 (a)  Law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the district attorney, shall accept the report of suspected student abuse for investigation and determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed against the school employe.

 (b)  Law enforcement officials shall notify the county agency in the county where the alleged student abuse occurred when law enforcement officials have reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of their initial review, that there is evidence of suspected student abuse.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

COUNTY RESPONSIBILITIES


§ 3490.171. Receipt and investigation of reports of suspected student abuse.

 (a)  The county agency is the sole civil agency responsible for investigating reports of suspected student abuse. The investigation shall be conducted by a protective service worker.

 (b)  When a county agency receives a report of suspected student abuse, it shall immediately notify ChildLine of the receipt of the report and begin an investigation as soon as possible. The oral report shall include the following information:

   (1)  The name and address of the student and the student’s parent or guardian.

   (2)  Where the suspected abuse or injury occurred.

   (3)  The age and sex of the student.

   (4)  The nature and extent of the suspected abuse or injury.

   (5)  The name and home address of the school employe alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

   (6)  The relationship of the student to the school employe alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

   (7)  The source of the report to the county agency.

   (8)  The actions taken by the county agency, law enforcement officials, parents, guardians, school officials or other persons, including the taking of photographs, medical tests and X-rays.

 (c)  At a minimum, the county agency shall have a face-to-face interview with the child, any witnesses to the abuse and the school employe suspected of causing the abuse, unless the employe refuses to be interviewed.

 (d)  The county agency’s investigation shall be completed within 60-calendar days of when the report was received by ChildLine. The county agency shall submit a Child Protective Service Investigation Report form to ChildLine with a status determination of founded, indicated, unfounded or pending criminal court action. If the Child Protective Service Investigation Report form is not received within 60-calendar days from the date the report was received by the county agency, the report shall be considered unfounded. Prior to expunging the report, ChildLine shall verify with the county agency that the report was not completed within 60-calendar days.

 (e)  If the investigation cannot be completed within 60- calendar days because an arrest has been made or there is criminal court action pending, the county agency shall send the Child Protective Services Investigation Report with a status determination of one of the following:

   (1)  Pending criminal court action.

   (2)  Indicated, when there is substantial evidence that the child was abused.

 (f)  The county agency shall submit a new Child Protective Service Investigation Report form to ChildLine as required in subsection (e) when a final status determination is made.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.172. Coordination of an investigation.

 (a)  The county agency and law enforcement officials shall coordinate their investigations to the fullest extent possible. Interviews with the student shall be conducted jointly. However, law enforcement officials may interview the school employe prior to the county agency contacting the employe.

 (b)  The joint interview with the student may be waived on an individual case-by-case basis if both the county agency and law enforcement official agree that it is in the best interest of the student.

 (c)  The county agency and law enforcement officials shall keep each other informed of their respective investigations.

 (d)  The county agency and law enforcement officials shall avoid taking or arranging to have taken duplicate photographs, medical tests or X-rays of a student, whenever possible.

 (e)  The county agency may rely on a factual investigation of substantially the same allegation by a law enforcement official to support the agency’s finding. This reliance does not relieve the county agency from conducting its own investigation.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.173. Notifications by the county agency.

 (a)  Prior to the initial interview with a subject of a report of student abuse, the county agency shall verbally notify the subject of the existence of the report, the allegations of student abuse and the school employe’s rights regarding amendment and expunction.

 (b)  Within 72 hours of the initial interview, the county agency shall notify the subject in writing of the following:

   (1)  The existence of the report.

   (2)  The allegations of student abuse.

   (3)  The school employe’s rights regarding amendment and expunction.

   (4)  The right to obtain a copy of the report from ChildLine or the county agency.

   (5)  The fact that unfounded reports are expunged within 120-calendar days of receipt of the report by ChildLine.

   (6)  The effect that a founded or indicated report of child abuse or student abuse has on a school employe responsible for student abuse seeking employment in a child care service or as a school employe.

 (c)  The written notice required by subsection (b) may be reasonably delayed if notification is likely to:

   (1)  Threaten the safety of the victim, the safety of another subject or the safety of an investigating county agency worker.

   (2)  Cause the school employe to abscond or to significantly interfere with the conduct of a criminal investigation.

 (d)  The written notice shall be given to all subjects before the status determination is submitted to ChildLine.

 (e)  The county agency shall notify, in writing, the district attorney and the law enforcement officials who conducted the investigation and the school administrator or employe, or both, who made the report to the district attorney and law enforcement officials of the status of the report when the county agency notifies ChildLine of the status of the report.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.174. Services for students.

 The county agency shall assist the student who was abused and the student’s parents in locating services for the student, if necessary.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.175. Expunction and amendment of reports of student abuse by the county agency.

 The county agency shall amend a record of student abuse upon notification from ChildLine. The county agency shall expunge all information in its possession in unfounded, indicated and founded reports of student abuse upon notification from ChildLine.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES


§ 3490.181. Agents of the county agency.

 The regional staff of the Department shall investigate reports of suspected student abuse when the person alleged to have abused the student is an agent of the county agency.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.182. ChildLine files.

 ChildLine will establish three files for reports of student abuse as follows:

   (1)  The pending complaint file for reports under investigation which shall contain the following information:

     (i)   The name and address of the student and the student’s parents or guardians.

     (ii)   Where the suspected abuse or injury occurred.

     (iii)   The age and sex of the student.

     (iv)   The nature and extent of the suspected student abuse or injury.

     (v)   The name and home address of the school employe alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

     (vi)   The relationship of the school employe alleged to have committed the abuse to the student who was allegedly abused by the school employe.

     (vii)   The source of the report (the name of the law enforcement official) to the county agency.

     (viii)   The actions taken by the county agency, law enforcement officials, parents, guardians, school officials or other persons, including the taking of photographs, medical tests and X-rays.

   (2)  The Statewide Central Register of indicated and founded reports for school employes which shall contain the following information:

     (i)   The name, Social Security Number, date of birth and sex of the subjects of the report.

     (ii)   The home address of the subjects of the report.

     (iii)   The date and the nature and extent of the abuse.

     (iv)   The county in which the student abuse occurred.

     (v)   The factors contributing to the abuse.

     (vi)   The relationship of the school employe who abused the student to the student.

     (vii)   The source of the report the name of the school administrator/school employe who made the report to a law enforcement official and the district attorney.

     (viii)   Whether the report is a founded or indicated report.

     (ix)   Information obtained by the Department in relation to a school employe’s request to release, amend or expunge information retained by the Department or the county agency.

     (x)   The progress of any administrative or civil legal proceedings brought on the basis of the report.

     (xi)   Whether a criminal investigation was done and the result of the investigation and of any criminal prosecution.

   (3)  The file of unfounded reports awaiting expunction which contains the same information that is in the Statewide Central Register.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT ABUSE


§ 3490.191. Request from a school employe to amend or expunge an indicated report of student abuse.

 (a)  The school employe responsible for the student abuse may request the Secretary to amend or expunge an indicated report for a school employe on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter. The written request shall be postmarked within 45-calendar days of the mailing date of the letter from the Statewide Central Register notifying the employe of the indicated status.

 (b)  The Secretary will decide whether to grant or deny a request made under subsection (a) within 30-calendar days from the date the request is received. The Secretary will notify all subjects of the report and the appropriate county agency of the decision by first-class mail.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.192. Request for a hearing from a school employe for indicated reports of student abuse.

 (a)  The school employe responsible for the student abuse has the right to appeal the Secretary’s decision to deny the request to amend or expunge an indicated report by filing an appeal with the Secretary.

 (b)  Any other subject of a report and the county agency have the right to appeal the Secretary’s decision to grant the request.

 (c)  Appeals shall be in writing to the Secretary’s designee, the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, and be postmarked within 45-calendar days from the mailing date of the Secretary’s notification letter.

 (d)  If an appeal is filed, a hearing shall be held before the Department’s Bureau of Hearings and Appeals.

 (e)  Except as provided in subsection (f), hearings will be conducted under 2 Pa.C.S. § §  501—508 and 701—704 (relating to the Administrative Agency Law) and 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure).

 (f)  Hearings will be scheduled and final administrative action taken in accordance with the time limits specified in §  275.4(b) and (e)(1), (3) and (5) (relating to procedures).

 (g)  The burden of proof in hearings held under this section is on the appropriate county agency.

 (h)  Parties to a hearing held under this section have 15-calendar days from the date of the final order of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals to request the Secretary to reconsider the decision or 30-calendar days to appeal the final order to the Commonwealth Court.

 (i)  Any administrative appeal proceeding will be automatically stayed upon notice to the Department by any subject or the county agency that there is a pending criminal proceeding or a dependency or delinquency proceeding under the Juvenile Act, including an appeal thereof, involving the same factual circumstances.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).

§ 3490.193. Other provisions.

 The following sections apply to reports of student abuse to the extent that they are applicable:

   (1)  Section 3490.31 (relating to receipt of reports).

   (2)  Section 3490.35 (relating to Statewide Central Register).

   (3)  Section 3490.36 (relating to providing information to the county agency).

   (4)  Section 3490.37 (relating to release of information: Statewide Central Register, pending complaint file and file of unfounded reports).

   (5)  Section 3490.38 (relating to authorized studies of child abuse data).

   (6)  Section 3490.40 (relating to notifications regarding indicated reports).

   (7)  Section 3490.40a (relating to notifications regarding founded reports).

   (8)  Section 3490.41 (relating to determination of time).

   (9)  Section 3490.42 (relating to performance audit and reviews).

   (10)  Section 3490.54 (relating to independent investigation of reports).

   (11)  Section 3490.91 (relating to persons to whom child abuse information shall be made available).

   (12)  Section 3490.93 (relating to requests by designated county officials).

   (13)  Section 3490.94 (relating to the release of the identity of a person who made a report of child abuse or cooperated in a subsequent investigation).

   (14)  Section 3490.104 (relating to release of information to a subject of a report).

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.143 (relating to definitions).



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