Do two five-year-olds kissing on a playground, or a boy hitting a female classmate on the behind during a game of tag, warrant calls to police and social services? Those are two cases being reviewed by Denver school officials and prosecutors as they struggle with guidelines for child welfare referrals. Their meeting followed a 55 percent increase in calls to the city’s child abuse hotline from January to February, which came on the heels of the prosecution of a middle school principal for allegedly failing to report a student’s sexual-harassment claim against another student.
Prosecutors say school officials could lose their jobs if they don’t “report everything.” Some school administrators and city officials say the Denver District Attorney’s guidelines are too vague and don’t allow for discretion. March 6, http://www.denverpost.com.