Student Safety and Child Abuse Training

Anita Kiehne – Area Vice President, Claims Management

New Procedures – SafeSchools Refresher Course Available Soon

MUSIC requires all members to participate in staff training for the prevention, recognition, and reporting of potential or actual child abuse and misconduct. There are many state requirements and we want all staff to be aware of and understand their obligations in issues involving child abuse and the importance to the safety and wellbeing of the child in acting promptly in reporting these issues.

The “MUSIC Sexual Misconduct: Staff to Student” required course is available through Safeschools and can be done individually as an online course or in a group setting with a staff member or administrator facilitating the training. Any group training requires attendance records and they must be maintained by the member. Given the fact that most of these incidents and claims involve staff and minor students, records can be sent to MUSIC in the event of a loss, so they are maintained to protect the statute of limitations which has a long tail.

We realize staff training can be repetitious, but believe this message is too important not to be done annually. However, this year, we have worked with SafeSchools to develop a “REFRESHER COURSE,” which will be available soon and maintains the core content of the original training program.

The course may be used for staff training every other year, for all staff who have taken the full course. MUSIC requires that any new hires participate in the full course and then the following year proceed with the training application all other staff are participating in. The majority of your staff should always be in sync with the exception of new employees. This training applies to all staff – full and part time.

Many of you contract out services to third party vendors and their staff and many of these services involve interaction with your students, such as bus drivers and substitute teachers. We recommend that the vendor provide proof of training in the prevention of child abuse and misconduct and it should be included in your contract. If the vendor is not able to provide training, and the contracted worker will be involved with students, we recommend they participate in our MUSIC training program as an alternative.

Volunteers are also very involved in your school and in student activities and should be participating in the SafeSchools training for preventing child abuse if they are interacting with students on a regular basis. This may not be appropriate for all volunteers, but we suggest looking at the frequency, activity, and whether or not other staff and adults are always or usually with the volunteers, as that certainly decreases the risk of inappropriate conduct. Although this is not a requirement, it should be considered a “best practice” standard and most adults will understand the importance of this training in keeping our students safe.

Should you have any questions about this information, you may call our MUSIC staff. We will send out notification as soon as the Refresher Course is available.