What is a mandated reporter? Which adults at Branson are mandated reporters?
A mandated reporter is any person who is required by law to report a particular category or type of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement or social service agency. At Branson, all teachers, staff, administration, and coaches are mandated reporters. This means that if we learn of or suspect abuse, we are required to call Child Protective Services or the police. Mandated reporters are required to give their names when making a report. However, the reporter's identity is kept confidential. Reports of suspected child abuse are also confidential. Mandated reporters have immunity from state criminal or civil liability for reporting as required
If I as a parent have concerns, or need to report something, what should I do?
If you have concerns about the safety and well being of any student at Branson, or fear they are being sexually abused, you should reach out to me (Chris Mazzola), Kim Fahlen, our School Counselor, or Whitney Livermore, our Dean of Student Life, and we will determine the next steps. We generally work through these situations as a threesome, so you may contact whomever you feel most comfortable with. You may also contact law enforcement directly, but you are not required by law to do so.
What happens when the school files a report with the police or Child Protective Services?
After we have given the information to law enforcement, they are required to investigate the matter and reach out to anyone they need to speak with to complete the investigation. Cases may also be investigated by Child Welfare Services when allegations involve abuse or neglect within families. Once Branson has made a report, the case is in the hands of the police. They will update us if needed during the investigation.
Are parents, volunteers, or team parents mandated reporters?
School volunteers and parents, while not mandated reporters, should report any suspected cases of abuse and neglect to the appropriate people at the school, who will take it from there.
Why can't a coach or teacher give my student a ride home from school, practices, or games?
Our Boundary Policy is meant to be preventative in nature. We try to avoid any situations in which students would be alone with a single employee. Given this, coaches, teachers, and staff should not drive individual students home from games or practices.