INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Public Schools says one of their schools waited several days to file a report with the Indiana Department of Child Services after learning of allegations that a five-year-old was inappropriately touched on school grounds.
The mother of the victim said she feels like the school did not follow protocol, or the law, when it comes to immediately reporting cases of potential abuse or neglect.
The parent said her daughter told her about the incident with another student over the weekend. According to the mother, the kindergarten student said a male student inappropriately touched her while they were at the playground at the school. The mother tells FOX59 she notified Carle Wilde School 79 Monday morning and did not send her daughter to school.
“It was disappointing that something like this could have happened at the school,” said the mother, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her daughter’s identity. “And, scary that it could’ve happened on more than one occasion or with more than one student.”
The mother said that she was referred to a school social worker to discuss the matter. She said that a report was not filed with DCS until Thursday, even though she first notified the school on Monday.
“The one lady indicated it was because she was afraid because of the lack of evidence,” the mother said. “It’s not our job to decide whether they’re going to follow through with the investigation. It’s our job to report the allegation and they really failed in doing that.”
Yet, the mother said her daughter’s doctor and staff at Riley Hospital for Children filed reports with DCS soon after seeing the little girl — with the same information given to the school.
“The only institution that failed to do so within the same day of being notified or the next day was the school itself,” the mom said. “The social worker advised me the vice principal had been made aware of the situation and she failed to report as well.”
The mother attended a meeting with her daughter and the school social worker Friday morning to discuss the allegations.
“[The school social worker] openly admitted that she does regret not following the usual protocol where they would immediately report something like that,” the mother said.
This situation comes just months after IPS held a special training session for its principals on their duty to immediately report abuse or neglect cases. Two IPS employees faced criminal charges earlier this year for waiting six days to report a case of sexual abuse.
Now, this mother wants to make sure the right procedure is being followed.
“It is very disgruntling to me as a parent,” she said. “They’ve really shown negligence on failing to follow through with their institutional commands.”
In an email, a spokesperson for DCS said the law is pretty clear and requires that a report be made immediately. Failure to report is a class B misdemeanor.
IPS issued this statement to FOX59:
“On September 19, 2016, Carl Wilde School 79 staff members were made aware of an allegation of suspected inappropriate interaction between elementary students that did not involve adults. The school filed a report with Child Protective Services on September 22, 2016. The employees who were knowledgeable about the allegation and failed to report have entered our internal disciplinary process. Carl Wilde staff completed annual training on IPS administrative guidelines for reporting requirements earlier this school year. Any investigation into the initial allegation will be handled by CPS.”