Proposal Would Require Arkansas College, University Officials To Report Suspected Child Abuse

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Officials at Arkansas colleges and universities would be required to report child abuse or suspected child abuse under a proposal by the state Department of Human Services. DHS attorney Breck Hopkins told a legislative committee Tuesday that DHS and the Department of Higher Education have agreed on a rule to broaden the definition of school officials who are required to report abuse or suspected abuse. He said the proposal will go to the Department of Education and must go through a public comment process that could take eight months to complete. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that questions about who is required to report abuse or suspected abuse began last month after allegations that a former Penn State assistant football coach had abused children. "Really the question had never been asked because there really never had been a situation," interim Higher Education Director Shane Broadway told the lawmakers.

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