The Rhode Island Association of School Principals says there is confusion among administrators about reporting allegations of abuse in their schools.
This follows the conviction of Harry Kizirian Elementary School principal Violet LeMar on Monday. LeMar was convicted for failure to report allegations of sexual abuse against a gym teacher to the Department of Children Youth and Families, as required by a recently amended state reporting law. She is appealing the ruling in Superior Court.
The president of the principals association, Tara McAuliffe, said school administrators have lost confidence in their ability to know what should be reported.
“The judgment piece that administrators use has kind of been taken out of the equation,” McAuliffe said. “And that’s going to create a whole lot of increased calls to DCYF, and possibly other agencies, or the police or whatever. Because people are calling in things that have not necessarily in the past been reportable issues.”
The principals association held a training session Wednesday night with representatives from DCYF and the Attorney General’s office. McAuliffe said she thinks it was a good start to a process where school districts will come up with their own policies to implement the law.