• Action was offensive
    July 25,2013
     

    Action was offensive

    Regarding the school administrators in Danville facing criminal charges for allegedly not reporting sexual abuse, your solid editorial on July 23 correctly notes that the administrators are “mandated reporters” under the law. But what your editorial does not say, and what has been missing from the reports on this incident, is that the law requires school administrators and other mandated reporters to make a report to the Department for Children and Families only when they have “reasonable cause to believe” that a child has been abused or neglected.

    If there is not reasonable cause to believe the abuse or neglect occurred, then a report should not be made. In short, a school administrator ought to exercise judgment before filing a report willy-nilly. That is why charging these administrators with a crime for their discretionary decision not to file a report with DCF seems like an extraordinary reach by the prosecuting authorities, and why the publication by this newspaper of the administrators’ mug shots is so offensive.

    Bernie Lambek

    Montpelier



    The writer is a member of Zalinger Cameron & Lambek who frequently represents school districts.

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