Child Abuse
If you have a reasonable suspicion that a student has been abused, maltreated or neglected, you are required by law to file a report with the State Central Register personally by calling 1-800-635-1522. Your job is to report the suspicion, not to investigate it. All reports made to the State Central Register should include the name, title and contact information for every staff person in the school who is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations contained in the report. Afterward, you must immediately notify the principal or the principal's designee and provide the Caller I.D. number provided by the State Central Register. If your suspicion of abuse involves a special education student, you should inform the principal and Central Register of the child’s handicapping condition.

If you suspect child abuse and fail to report it, you may be subject to disciplinary action by the DOE, as well as be civilly or even criminally liable for any injury to the child. At the same time, if you report and you are wrong, you will be protected from any adverse disciplinary or legal action.

As part of state certification requirements, you must take a two-hour course in child abuse recognition and reporting procedures. The UFT regularly offers this low-cost course, which is listed in the New York Teacher educational supplement that’s mailed to your home in August, January and June. You can also find the listings online at — click on Conferences.