Robinson Independent School District
Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse of Children
as Required by HB 1041
I. Methods for increasing awareness regarding sexual abuse of children for
II. Likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse, using resources developed by the agency under Section 38.004.
III. Actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse should take to obtain assistance.
IV. Available counseling options for students affected by sexual abuse.
I.A. Methods for increasing awareness regarding sexual abuse of children for teachers:
Teachers will be trained annually in all content areas addressed in the Robinson ISD Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse of Children. Training may be provided through campus staff, district staff, or outside agencies as appropriate at the discretion of campus administration. Training will include contents of the adopted board policy FFG (LEGAL) and pertinent FFG exhibits.
I.B. Methods for increasing awareness regarding sexual abuse of children for students:
District counseling staff will address issues to increase awareness regarding sexual abuse of children and anti-victimization programs with age appropriate conversations no less than once per year in classroom group lessons in grades K through 8. Awareness regarding sexual abuse of children will be addressed with students in grades 9-12 through health and PE classes no less than once per year.
I.C. Methods for increasing awareness regarding sexual abuse of children for parents:
Information concerning the district Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse of Children will be posted in school newsletters, email blasts, and will be announced at RISD PTA meetings. The following information will be included in the RISD Student Handbook which is made available both in printed format and online at the district website: The district has established a plan for addressing child sexual abuse, which may be accessed at http://www.robinson.k12.tx.us. As an educator and or parent, it is important for you to be aware of warning signs that could indicate a child may have been or is being sexually abused. Sexual abuse in the Texas Family Code is defined as any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare as well as a failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child. Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a legal responsibility, under state law, for reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to Child Protective Services (CPS).
Possible physical warning signs of sexual abuse could be difficulty sitting or walking, pain in the genital areas, and claims of stomachaches and headaches. Behavioral indicators may include verbal references or pretend games of sexual activity between adults and children, fear of being alone with adults of a particular gender, or sexually suggestive behavior. Emotional warning signs to be aware of include withdrawal, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, and problems in school.
A child who has experienced sexual abuse should be encouraged to seek out a trusted adult. Be aware as a parent or other trusted adult that disclosures of sexual abuse may be more indirect than disclosures of physical abuse, and it is important to be calm and comforting if your child, or another child, confides in you. Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling you.
As a parent, if your child is a victim of sexual abuse, the campus counselor or principal will provide information regarding counseling options for you and your child available in your area.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) also manages early intervention counseling programs. To find out what services may be available in your county, see http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/PreventionandEarlyIntervention/ProgramsAvailableInYour_County/default.asp.
The following Web sites might help you become more aware of child sexual abuse:
Reports may be made to:
The Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (1 800-252-5400 or on the Web at http://www.txabusehotline.org).
II. Likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse, using resources developed by the agency under Section 38.004
§ 38.004. CHILD ABUSE REPORTING AND PROGRAMS. (a) The agency shall develop a policy governing the child abuse reports required by Chapter 261, Family Code, of school districts and their employees. The policy must provide for cooperation with law enforcement child abuse investigations without the consent of the child's parents if necessary, including investigations by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. Each school district shall adopt the policy.(b) Each school district shall provide child abuse antivictimization programs in elementary and secondary schools. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.
Texas Education Agency resources under this section can be found at the following links:
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index.aspx?id=2820 and http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing
Possible Psychological and Behavioral Signs of Sexual Child Abuse:
Changes in sleeping patterns
Nightmares or bad dreams
Depression, irritability, or anger
Low self-esteem, guilt, shame
Avoidance of people or places
Sexual advances or "touching" inappropriately
Changes in socialization (social withdrawal or social isolation)
Possible Physical Symptoms
Trauma to the mouth or genitals
Pain around the genital area
Weight loss or weight gain
Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse
Any one sign doesn't mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:
During a divorce
Death of a family member or pet
Problems at school or with friends
Other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events
Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent
Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
Seems distracted or distant at odd times
Has a sudden change in eating habits, refuses to eat, loses or drastically increases appetite
or has trouble swallowing.
Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
Talks about a new older friend
Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge
Signs more typical of younger children
An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
Has new words for private body parts
Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
Signs more typical in adolescents
Self-injury (cutting, burning)
Inadequate personal hygiene
Drug and alcohol abuse
Running away from home
Fear of intimacy or closeness
Compulsive eating or dieting
Physical warning signs
Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare. If you see these signs, contact a counselor or administrator immediately.
Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
Suspect physical abuse when you see...
Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes or burns, especially when the child
cannot adequately explain their causes
Burns or bruises in an unusual pattern that may indicate the use of an instrument or a
human bite; cigarette burns on any part of the body
Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury
Aggressive, disruptive and destructive behavior
Lack of reaction to pain
Passive, withdrawn, emotionless behavior
Fear of going home or seeing parents
Injuries that appear after the child has not been seen for several days
Unseasonable clothes that may hide injuries to arms or legs
Suspect neglect when you see...
Lack of personal cleanliness
Torn and/or dirty clothes
Obvious fatigue and listlessness
A child unattended for long periods of time
Need for glasses, dental care or other medical attention
Stealing or begging for food
Frequent absence or tardiness from school
III. Actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse should take to obtain assistance
In student awareness sessions concerning sexual abuse issues referenced in section I.B. of this plan, students will be encouraged to tell a trusted adult in a private and confidential conversation if they have been a victim of sexual abuse or have been in situations which make them feel uncomfortable in any way. Adults will be trained as addressed in section I.
C. of this plan to take appropriate actions to help the child obtain assistance and to follow proper reporting procedures. Older students will also be provided with local crises hotline numbers to obtain assistance.
IV. Available counseling options for students affected by sexual abuse
Advocacy Center for Crime Victims & Children http://www.advocacycntr.org
The Children’s Advocacy Center is a centralized clearing house for investigation of suspected
sexual and physical abuse. CAC provides a safe nurturing place for children to tell their
The Victims Center responds immediately to survivors of violence through hotline advocacy
and therapeutic services. While seventy percent of those served by the program are affected
by sexual assault, the agency works with all victims of all crimes.
Local Crisis Hotline 254-752-7233
Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children
Amy Perkins, Executive Director
2323 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 76701
Phone (254) 752-9330, ext. 112
Fax (254) 752-9655
The Victims Center offers free brief therapy (8-10 sessions) for primary & secondary victims of crime beginning at age 3 as well as group & family therapy. Each client is assigned a case manager to assist them in assessing needs & finding resources in the community. Additionally, we offer a 24 hour crisis hotline and a SANE program for victims who need to be examined at the hospital following a sexual assault.
The Children’s Advocacy Center offers forensic interviews & on-site medical exams for children who have alleged abuse or abuse is suspected. The CAC & clinical staff work with various agencies through a multi-disciplinary team approach.
Also select the program below for more information:
Community Youth Development
Services to At-Risk Youth
Central Texas Youth Services
Central Texas Youth Services Bureau
Service Provider Phone
When You Suspect Child Abuse or Neglect:
A General Guide
We all have the responsibility to protect our children from harm. If you suspect the abuse or neglect of a child, it is your duty to report it immediately.
Anyone having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect MUST report the case immediately to a state or local law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
DFPS has a toll-free, 24-hour Family Violence Hotline: 1-800-252-5400
Your legal obligation
Current law requires that professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses, or child daycare workers must make a verbal report within 48 hours. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000 (Texas Family Code, Chapter 261).
Reporting suspected child abuse to your principal, school counselor or superintendent will NOT satisfy your obligation under this law. Local school district policy cannot conflict with or supercede the state law requiring you to report child abuse to a law enforcement agency or DFPS.
Your legal Protection
Your report of child abuse or neglect is confidential and immune from civil or criminal liability as long as the report is made in "good faith" and "without malice."
In good faith means that the person making the report took reasonable steps to learn facts that were readily available and at hand. Without malice means that the person did not intend to injure or violate the rights of another person. Provided these two conditions are met, you will also be immune from liability if you are asked to participate in any judicial proceedings that might result from your report.
If you suspect abuse:
DON'T try to investigate
DON'T confront the abuser
DO report your reasonable suspicions
It is not up you to determine whether your suspicions are true. A trained investigator will evaluate the child's situation. Even if your report does not bring decisive action, it may help establish a pattern that will eventually be clear enough to help the child.
If you are the first person the child tells about sexual abuse, your testimony as "outcry witness" may be especially important in future legal proceedings. What you say the child told you is not considered hearsay but is admissible evidence in a trial involving a sexual offense against a child. This exception applies only to the first person the child approaches.