Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse and Mandatory Training
Mandatory reporting applies to all individuals and is not limited to teachers or health care professionals. The law extends to individuals whose personal communications may be otherwise privileged, such as attorneys, clergy members, and health care professionals. Therefore, all SMU employees should be familiar with Texas law pertaining to reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.
Texas Mandatory Reporting Law
Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it immediately. The report may be made to (1) any local or state law enforcement agency, including the SMU Police Department; or (2) the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Implications for Employees
All SMU faculty, staff and student employees are required at the time employment begins to successfully complete an approved training program on sexual abuse and child molestation.
In addition, all contract agencies, vendors, or camp operators renting space and/or hosting camps on SMU campuses, or connected to SMU programs involving contact with minor children, must show evidence of completed training for all personnel prior to the start of the program or camp. Recertification of training completion for each individual is required every two years.
How to Report
If you suspect child abuse or neglect has taken place on the SMU campus or at any SMU function, program, or event, immediately make a report to the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3333. SMU employees must also report such conduct to a supervisor or department head, but merely reporting the incident to a supervisor or department head is insufficient. If there is an immediate threat, call 911.