Police have charged a principal in Horry County, South Carolina, with failure to report suspected child abuse. The charges stem from an incident in February when a teacher allegedly put hand sanitizer in a child’s open wound and hit another child. The warrant didn’t make clear why police believe that the principle knew about the incident and failed to act. The standard in South Carolina is “reason to believe“ abuse might have happened. This standard arguably is lower than the usual “reasonable suspicion” found in other states. Failure to report is a misdemeanor, but the bad effects on an individual’s career go far beyond the criminal penalty.
The incident is a reminder that police are becoming more enamored of charging people with failure to report suspected child abuse. Know your state’s laws and report any suspicions that you may have.