As educators, our primary goal is to enhance the learning of children and to remove barriers, academic or environmental, that make learning difficult. Not all children come to school equally prepared to learn. Sometimes cognitive problems or handicapping conditions interfere. Sometimes it is social, emotional or behavioral problems that present difficulty. The residual effects of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect, by themselves or in combination with the previously stated factors, present a serious challenge to learning.
State law, Florida statute 39 requires mandatory reporting of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Florida statute 415 requires mandatory reporting of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adult disabled students.
The Florida Department of Education mandates child abuse training for all new teachers, and Broward County Public Schools also requires this training for all experienced staff who are new to our school district. The Principles of Professional Conduct For The Education Profession In The State Of Florida require reasonable efforts to protect the student.
Educators are trained to recognize and intervene when children are not able to fully benefit from their educational opportunities. This guide will assist teachers and others in the educational environment in detecting clues that may indicate that children are being maltreated. School is the only place outside the home in which most children are seen daily. Educators have the opportunity to see changes in their appearance and behavior.
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