Auditor says most cyber, charter schools lacked new child abuse reporting policy

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says a vast majority of Pennsylvania’s 179 cyber and charter schools did not have an updated policy on reporting child abuse until his office began looking into the matter this spring.

Earlier this year, the auditor general’s office found that about one in five Pennsylvania school districts did not have updated policies.

Before 2014, school personnel was only required to report suspected child abuse or neglect cases to a supervisor. Now, they must first report it to ChildLine, the state’s child abuse hotline.

Since contacting them in the spring, DePasquale says now almost 80 percent of cyber and charter schools have such a policy in place.

According to the Department of Human Services, 47 children died and 89 children nearly died from abuse in 2018. That’s a six percent increase from the previous year.

“The change was intended to make sure that no one at the local level could sweep reports of suspected abuse under the rug,” DePasquale said. “There is a child abuse problem, clearly in Pennsylvania, and likely across the country, and all of us have to do our part to try to stem this tide.”

The number to reach ChildLine is 1-800-932-0313.

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