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NYC Helpline: How To: Manage Your Classroom
View Instructional Videos for Teachers about Classroom Management

Classroom Management (Secondary)

A high school science teacher demonstrates how her structured and routine-based classroom environment is the key to success.

Classroom Management (Elementary)

An elementary school teacher guides us through her daily classroom routines and shows how consistency and structure are essential.

Classroom Management through Cooperative Groups

View two elementary school teachers demonstrate how they engage their students through group work to help them learn.

How to Home
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: How To Get Started

Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse
Carolyn Hornik

There may come a time when an educator might suspect a child has been abused, maltreated, or neglected. The New York City Department of Education has strict guidelines for reporting of suspected child abuse. If an educator suspects abuse, it is mandatory, as per these guidelines, to report the suspected abuse.

The Law
“A child is considered abused or maltreated if the child is less than 18 years old (21 years old or less if placed in a residential placement), if a parent or other person legally responsible for the child’s care, harms the child, creates substantial risk of harm, or fails to exercise a minimum degree of care to protect the child.”

Reporting Procedures
All pedagogical and non-pedagogical employees of the New York City Department of Education are mandated to report suspected child abuse, immediately to a principal, office head of a non-school site, or designee, a member of a Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Team. When notified by school personnel, a principal has the primary responsibility to report suspected abuse cases to New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment, (SCR), in Albany. Reporters need only to have reasonable suspicion of child abuse, maltreatment or neglect to file a report. A reporter does not have to possess certainty before a report is made.

Reports can be telephoned to 1-800-635-1522.

Signs of Suspected Abuse
Note: Any of the following signs are not always a result of abuse, maltreatment, or neglect and may be detected in children who have not been abused, maltreated or neglected. Educators, however, should be aware of and take note of the following behavior in students:

  • unexplained burns, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of an object
  • black eyes
  • broken bones
  • bite marks
  • poor self esteem
  • inability to love or trust others
  • aggression or disruptive behavior
  • intense anger or rage
  • acting out in the classroom
  • acting out sexually
  • self-destructive behavior, self-abusive behavior, or suicidal behavior
  • sadness, passiveness, withdrawn behavior, or depression
  • difficulty forming new relationships
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • not wanting to go home after school
  • fear of certain adults
  • secretiveness
  • apathy
  • hostility
  • lack of concentration
  • eating disorders
  • unsuitable clothing for weather
  • dirty appearance or evidence of being unbathed
  • extreme hunger
  • apparent lack of supervision

If any of the above are detected, an educator may have reasonable suspicion of abuse, maltreatment, or neglect and is mandated to report these observations to the school principal.

Related Liability
Any school employee, making a report, in good faith, will have immunity from liability, civil, or criminal, which might result from such action.

Under Social Service Law, the willful and/or knowing failure to report child abuse, may result in criminal action, civil liability and/or Board disciplinary action against the employee.

The above information and additional information regarding mandated reporting, may be found at:



Any questions may be addressed to:
Citywide Coordinator Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention Program
110 Livingston Street, Room 502
Brooklyn, New York 11201

or by calling 1-718-935-4058.

Please note: As I am not an abuse expert, I am not a contact person. If you wish to report suspected abuse contact the agencies mentioned in the article or your school administrator or guidance staff.


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