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Ethics Training and Reporting



Child Abuse

Dial 1-800-96-ABUSE



Look for the signs!

Signs of Physical Abuse

The child may have unexplained:

  • bruises, welts, cuts or other injuries
  • broken bones
  • burns

A child experiencing physical abuse may:

  • seem withdrawn or depressed
  • seem afraid to go home or may run away
  • shy away from physical contact
  • be aggressive
  • wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries

Signs of Sexual Abuse

The child may have:

  • torn, stained or bloody underwear
  • trouble walking or sitting
  • pain or itching in genital area
  • a sexually transmitted disease

A child experiencing sexual abuse may:

  • have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively
  • fear a particular person
  • seem withdrawn or depressed
  • gain or lose weight suddenly
  • shy away from physical contact
  • run away from home

Signs of Neglect

The child may have:

  • unattended medical needs
  • little or no supervision at home
  • poor hygiene
  • appear underweight

A child experiencing neglect may:

  • be frequently tired or hungry
  • steal food
  • appear overly needy for adult attention

Call or Report it Online at:

Look for the Patterns

Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.

If a child tells YOU about abuse:

Be a good listener. Show that you understand and believe what the child tells you. Encourage, but don't pressure him/her to talk. Ask open ended questions.

Be supportive. Tell the child he/she did the right thing by coming to you. Stress that he/she is not to blame. Let the child know that you want to help.

Don't overreact. This can frighten the child or prevent him/her from telling you more. Do not talk negatively about the suspected abuser in front of the child.

Document and report it. Document your conversation as soon as you can. If possible, write down the child's exact words.

Don't delay. Never assume someone else will report the abuse. The sooner it's reported, the sooner the child and their family can be helped.


Who must report abuse?

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Police Officers
  • Child Care Workers
  • Any Witnesses
  • Any/All School Personnel


Florida Department of Children and Families

Reporting Professional Misconduct

All employees and agents of a public school district, charter school or private school have an obligation and legal responsibility to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety or welfare of a student.


Failure to report misconduct may result in penalties up to termination of employment and revocation of an educator's certificate.

If someone tells you about misconduct,
be a LEADER:

Listen | Evaluate

Act immediately | Document

Encourage | Report

Examples of Professional Misconduct:

  • Obscene language
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Disparaging comments
  • Prejudice or bigotry
  • Sexual innuendo
  • Cheating or testing violations
  • Physical aggression
  • Accept or offer favors

Report to:

(Your school or district contact information below)

Name: Pam McCarty

Title: Human Resource Manager

Phone: 561-686-4244, ext. 374

Training Requirement All instructional personnel, educational support employees and school administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct and reporting child abuse.

Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel, educational support employees and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in the school cafeteria and teachers’ lounge.

Liability Protections: Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action. (F.S. 39.203)

An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760. (F.S. 768.095)