Be Alert - Report Abuse
Employees of Pasco-Hernando State College are hereby notified that under revisions to Chapter 39.201 Florida Statutes, any individual who fails to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect, or prevents another from making such a report, regardless of where the event occurred or the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.00. Further, any employee who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is the victim of childhood sexual abuse or the victim of a known or suspected juvenile sexual offender also is required to report such knowledge or suspicion.
Employees are also advised that, pursuant to Florida Statute 39.205, a Florida College System institution, state university or nonpublic college whose administrators are made aware of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect which occurred on college or university property or at an official event sponsored by the college or university, or who prevents the reporting of such child abuse, neglect or abandonment may be subject to a fine of $1 million. This reporting requirement exists even if the employee or administration is aware that the incident has been reported by another individual or entity. Failure to report in compliance with college procedures may result in employee discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
Where the alleged perpetrator is a student, the disciplinary process shall proceed in accordance with College policies and procedures.
Child Abuse Definitions
A situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both.
Any unmarried person under the age of 18 years who has not been emancipated by order of the court.
- Child Abuse
Any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.
- College Administrator
Any Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, Dean, Associate Provost, Provost, General Counsel, Vice President and President.
- College Property
Any real property or vehicles owned, leased, rented, or controlled by the District Board of Trustees or the Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation, Inc., whether or not such property is currently in use by the College or Foundation for day to day operations.
- Juvenile Sex Offender
A person under the age of 18 who is known or suspected to be engaging in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature with another person who is under the age of 18.
A situation in which a child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired.
- Official College Event/Sponsored Event
Any event occurring on a College campus or facility or any event away from College owned property where the College or Foundation is publicly identified as a sponsor.
- Normal Business Hours
The hours of 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except during any 4 day workweek and holidays identified in the District Board of Trustees approved College calendar.
- Non-College Property/Non-College Event Reporting
For incidents of abuse, neglect or abandonment which an employee may witness or
become aware of that do not occur on College property or at official College or Foundation events, an employee must immediately report known or suspected abuse, abandonment or neglect to the proper authorities. In general, the reports should be made to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) via the toll free, anonymous hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or TDD: 1-800-453-5145. Reports that may not require immediate investigation may be reported via the DCF webpage. Employees witnessing an incident in which an immediate threat is posed to the child should call 911. Employees should note that receiving a report of child abuse, abandonment or neglect within the course of employment at the College does not create an “on-campus” event necessitating reporting as outlined in Section III.B. below. Such reports would, however, require reporting as set forth in Section III.A.
- Reporting of Incidents Occurring on College Property or at an Official Event
All employees becoming aware of or suspecting that an incident of child abuse, abandonment or neglect has occurred or is occurring on College property or at an official event are required to first report the suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment. If an event occurs during normal business hours, the employee must report the child abuse, abandonment or neglect to DCF. If the child abuse, neglect or abandonment is presently occurring and poses an imminent threat of bodily harm or otherwise requires immediate emergency attention, the employee should call 911. Employees are discouraged from interceding in a physical manner or if doing so would pose a threat to the employee’s safety. If the abuse, abandonment or neglect occurred or is occurring on the West Campus, the employee should immediately contact the Vice President of Instruction/Provost, West Campus; if on the East, North, Porter, or Spring Hill Campuses, the employee should immediately notify the Provost or Associate Provost, as appropriate. In the absence of the administrator identified, the employee shall notify the Associate Deans (for East, North, Porter or Spring Hill) or the Vice President of Administration and Finance (West Campus). The administrator shall assist the initial reporting employee with completion of a Florida College System Risk Management Consortium Incident/Accident Report. In the event none of the identified College Administrators are available, the employee should report to any available College Administrator.
If the event becomes known after normal business hours, the employee must report the incident. The employee shall meet with the College Administrator identified in the above paragraph at the earliest opportunity on the next business day. In the event the incident is ongoing, after calling 911, the employee shall notify on duty security who shall take appropriate steps pending official law enforcement response. The security staff shall also make a report to DCF and shall notify the assigned evening administrator. The assigned evening administrator shall report the incident to the DCF. The Vice President of Instruction/Provost, West Campus or the appropriate Provost or Associate Provost or other College Administrator who was notified shall convene a meeting with the President, General Counsel and the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications as soon as practicable. At this meeting, the attendees shall report the incident to the DCF via conference call and shall notify the report taker of all individuals present and making the report as well as the date and time of all other reports known to have been made. The incident report initiated by the employee shall be updated at each step and shall specifically state the names of all College officials/employees to whom the report was made, the name of the reporting individual as well as the date and time of each report made to DCF and the method of reporting, and if available, report numbers assigned by DCF and/or local law enforcement agencies. The final report shall also set forth the final disposition of any law enforcement or DCF investigations and any actions taken by the College. Upon final disposition by DCF or Law Enforcement, the Vice President of Instruction/Provost, West Campus or appropriate Provost or Associate Provost or other College Administrator who was notified shall file the final incident report with the College’s Assistant Director of Human Resources with a copy to the General Counsel. Final disposition shall be deemed to have occurred when there is commencement of criminal prosecution, the case is closed by DCF or it is known that no further action will be taken by either law enforcement, DCF or other appropriate agencies.