Parents Allied with Children and Teachers

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PACT Charter School
7250 E. Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303

 510_Contacting Outside Authorities

 Date created: 

 Committee Approval by: 

 Date Approved:

 Reviewed:

 May 2013

 JSC

 20130530

 2015-16

 BRD

 20130905


PURPOSE

In the general course of events there may be occasion for the school to make contact with the outside authorities, primarily the police or child protection services, for the purposes of investigation into alleged criminal activities that take place on school property, during school related events, or involving school interests. In adherence to PACT Charter School philosophy regarding the parent being the primary educator of the child, there are a broad range of situations in which PACT Charter School would prefer to defer to the family as the initiator of any police investigation. PACT remains vigilant in monitoring student behavior and retains all rights to investigate situations internally for the purposes of resolution and/or consequences in respect to the student’s relationship and standing with the school. This policy is intended to provide a guideline for school staff to make appropriate decisions and take consistent action in contacting the outside authorities for the purposes of criminal investigation as well as to ensure proper action to protect staff from legal consequences related to Mandated Reporting.

 

MANDATED REPORTING AND MALTREATMENT OF MINORS

All school personnel are considered Mandated Reporters in Minnesota according to Minnesota law. Mandated reporting is a stand-alone category of this policy targeting suspected maltreatment, abuse, or neglect of a minor.
All Staff at PACT Charter School are expected to abide by the current state statutes and dutifully execute the responsibilities of a mandated reporting when reasonable suspicion of maltreatment, abuse, or neglect exists. Staff should consult with school administration in the process of mandated reporting, but consultation with administration does not absolve the staff person from following through with his/her obligation to fulfill reporting requirements.


*** To support appropriate action by PACT staff, all staff will receive training in recognizing the signs of maltreatment, abuse, or neglect and instruction as to how to complete the process of mandated reporting in the state of Minnesota. This training will take place annually during the staff development days at the start of the regularly scheduled school year for staff. Training will be provided by school administration or an appointed designee, which may include trainers from outside resources. ***

 

SCHOOL-INITIATED CONTACT OF OUTSIDE AUTHORITIES

The following are situations when the school authorizes personnel to contact outside authorities to respond to an emergency, to assist in an investigation, or to independently investigate an alleged criminal activity involving any person with connection to PACT Charter School.

A.  IN THE CASE OF EMERGENCY

PACT Charter School personnel shall immediately contact Emergency Services when any imminent threat to the safety or welfare of PACT students, staff, or guests is identified.

B.  PACT CHARTER SCHOOL IS THE COMPLAINANT

When an act is committed against any part of the entity of PACT Charter School, PACT may choose to file a complaint with outside authorities. In this case, PACT Charter School or its representatives will contact the parent/guardian of the alleged perpetrator according to the advisement of the legal authorities once the complaint is registered. The decision to engage the authorities remains at the discretion of the Executive Director and appointed designees.

Offenses in which PACT may be the complainant include:

  • Truancy
  • Vandalism or destruction of property belonging to PACT Charter School
  • Theft of PACT Charter School property
  • Crimes against personnel of PACT Charter School in the course of assigned duties
  • Situations which substantially disrupt the learning environment of PACT Charter School and which appear to be unmanageable by PACT Charter School staff and administration
  • Other instances not specifically covered in this policy which may warrant school- initiated contact with the authorities

C.  IN THE INTEREST OF GENERAL SAFETY AND WELFARE

PACT Charter School may encounter situations in which there is not a specific or identifiable victim yet there may be potential dangers to the community that require contact with outside authorities to investigate with the intent of determining criminal conduct. Such situations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Possession of a weapon on school grounds
  • Terroristic threat
  • Possession and/or distribution of drugs or related incidents
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Unidentified persons on school grounds
  • Other situations not specifically covered in this policy subject to administrative discretion

 

SCHOOL-SUPPORTED CONTACT WITH AUTHORITIES

As a part of day-to-day operations within PACT Charter School, there could be occasion in which activities that occur may warrant investigation by outside authorities and possible legal consequences for the offender. PACT Charter School and its representatives are invested in the students and families of PACT equally and maintain a position of legal neutrality in alleged person-to-person conflicts and possible crimes. In keeping with the school’s stated philosophy of parents and families being the primary educators and caretakers of the students, PACT Charter School and its representatives will not venture to interfere with a victim’s right to solicit assistance from the legal authorities. The School will neither compel nor resist a victim’s right to pursue justice. PACT offers support and cooperation to the fullest legal extent into any investigation by outside authorities. PACT Charter School reserves the right to independently investigate incidents within the realm of school authority with the purpose of administering consequences internally and independent of consequences issued by outside authorities.

A.  SUPPORTING OR FACILITATING A VICTIM’S RIGHT TO OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION

PACT Charter School and its authorized representatives will assist alleged victims of personal offenses in exercising their full right to pursue legal investigation by enacting the following procedures:

  1. PACT Charter School administration will notify the victim (for the purposes of this policy, “victim” assumes and includes the legal parent or guardian of any minor student alleging wrongdoing of another party and does not assume guilt of any alleged offender) of their right to pursue outside legal assistance. This notification may be a verbal statement and is not required to be in written form,
  2. PACT Charter School and its representatives will not advise or offer opinion as to whether the School perceives the incident as criminal in nature.
  3. If specifically requested, PACT Charter School will assist the victim in contacting outside authorities. Based on the victim’s preference, this may include placing the call directly to ask for an investigator to come to campus or it may be in the form of providing a phone or other means of contacting the authorities.
  4. PACT Charter School will provide a space for the authorities to conduct questioning or other processes as a part of the official investigation.
  5. In the absence of a parent/guardian being able to be present during the investigation, a representative of PACT Charter School administration will sit in parentis on behalf of any student involved in the investigation.
  6. PACT Charter School will cooperate fully and provide any legally available information and evidence to the investigating authorities in the interest of fairness and justice for all parties involved.

B.  INCIDENTS THE SCHOOL DEFERS TO THE VICTIM’S RIGHT TO INVESTIGATION

PACT Charter School will bring forward to the parents/legal guardians any discovered incidents in which an identifiable victim of any alleged criminal activity exists. Such incidents may include but are not limited to the following types of incidents. This list is not intended to be all inclusive or exclusionary in any way but to serve as a series of examples of incidents potentially warranting outside legal assistance.

  • Crimes against property (including theft, damage or destruction, etc. of the personal property of students, staff and visitors of PACT Charter School)
  • Crimes against a person (assault, abuse, sexual misconduct, deprivation of rights, etc.)
  • Crimes against a group (discrimination, hate crimes, etc.) alleged by an individual
  • Other investigations for which a victim (reasonably connected to PACT Charter School as a student, staff member, or authorized visitor at the time of the offense) alleges an incident to be on PACT properties or related to PACT authorized activities.

 

DISCLAIMER

At no time does PACT Charter School or its duly authorized representatives release the right to pursue an internal investigation or to invoke disciplinary consequences for offenses that occur in direct relationship to PACT Charter School students, staff, authorized visitors, property, or other entities belonging to PACT Charter School. PACT Charter School administration reserves the option to modify findings and/or consequences for offenders based on the outcome of external investigations.