8551 – Abuse Of Students By Employees


Physical or sexual abuse of students, including inappropriate and intentional sexual behavior, by employees will not be tolerated. The definition of employees for the purpose of this policy includes not only those who work for pay but also those who are volunteers of the district under the direction and control of the school district. Employees found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

All instances of suspected or potential abuse will be reported as required by Policy 8550–Child Abuse/Neglect.

The district will respond promptly to allegations of abuse of students by school district employees by investigating or arranging for the investigation of allegations. The process of a complaint or allegation will be handled confidentially to the maximum extent possible. Employees are required to assist in the investigation when requested to provide information and maintain confidentiality of the reporting and investigation process.

The Superintendent will appoint an investigator (typically the District’s Liaison Officer or a School Resource Officer). An alternative investigator may be appointed as necessary (i.e. same sex investigator as appropriate). The investigator will pass the findings to the Superintendent and proper authorities.

Physical Abuse. Physical abuse is non-accidental physical injury to the student as a result of the action of an employee. Injury occurs when evidence of it is still apparent at least twenty-four hours after its occurrence. The following do not constitute physical abuse, and no employee is prohibited from:

  1. Using reasonable and necessary force, not designed or intended to cause pain:
    1. To quell a disturbance or prevent an act that threatens physical harm to any person.
    2. To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a pupil’s control.
    3. For purposes of self-defense or defense of others as provided for in Neb. Stat. 28-1409 and 1410.
    4. For the protection of property as provided in Neb. Stat. 28-1411.
    5. To remove a disruptive pupil from class, or any area of the school premises or from school-sponsored activities off school premises.
    6. To prevent a student from self-infliction of harm.
    7. To protect the safety of others.
  2. Using incidental, minor, or reasonable physical contact to maintain order and control. In determining the reasonableness of the contact or force used, the following factors shall be considered:
    1. The nature of the misconduct of the student, if any, precipitating the physical contact by the school employee.
    2. The size and physical condition of the student.
    3. The means or device used in making the physical contact.
    4. The motivation of the school employee in initiating the physical contact.
    5. The extent of injury to the student resulting from physical contact.

“Reasonable force” is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstance, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat.

Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse is defined as including sexual acts involving a student, acts that encourage the student to engage in prostitution, inappropriate, intentional sexual behavior or physical manifestations of sexual harassment by the employee toward a student. “Sexual harassment” is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to the conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly as a term or condition of the student’s education or benefits;
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student; or
  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

 

Reference:
Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-295
8550–Child Abuse
8451–Corporal Punishment/Use of Physical Force
1311–Harassment

 

Policy Adopted 2-7-07
Policy Reviewed:  04.12.2018
(This policy is repeated in §6000 as 6214.)