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Robinson Independent School District

Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse of Children

as Required by HB 1041

Plan Contents:

I. Methods for increasing awareness regarding sexual abuse of children for

A. Teachers

B. Students

C. Parents

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/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Programs_Available_In_Your_C

ounty/default.asp.

The following Web sites might help you become more aware of child sexual abuse:

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index.aspx?id=2820

http://sapn.nonprofitoffice.com/

http://www.taasa.org/member/materials2.php

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse1.shtml

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse2.shtml

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
  • Bedwetting
  • Nightmares or bad dreams
  • Depression, irritability, or anger
  • Low self-esteem, guilt, shame
  • Avoidance of people or places
  • Sexual advances or "touching" inappropriately
  • Sexual drawings
  • Changes in socialization (social withdrawal or social isolation)

Possible Physical Symptoms

  • Pregnancy
  • Venereal Disease
  • Trauma to the mouth or genitals
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pain around the genital area
  • Poor appetite
  • 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
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • 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...

  • Obvious malnourishment
  • 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

stories.

  • 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

Toll-Free 1-888-867-7233

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

opendoor@advocacycntr.org

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:

County Program Service Provider Service Provider Phone
McLennan Community Youth Development Central Texas Youth Services (254) 939-3466
McLennan Services to At-Risk Youth Central Texas Youth Services Bureau (800) 421-8336

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.

A disclosure

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.