Administrative Regulation 401.46A
Student Abuse and Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Abuse of Students by School Employees
Under Iowa Code section 280.17, the Davenport Community School District has the duty to investigate allegations that a school employee has physically or sexually abused a student.
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Abuse – Abuse may fall into either of the following categories:
1. Physical Abuse – means non-accidental physical injury to the student as a result of the actions of a school employee. Physical abuse may occur as the result of intentional infliction of injury or excessive, unnecessary, or unreasonable use of force. The definition of physical abuse has four key elements:
a. “Non-accidental”: the physical contact must have been on purpose or intentional;
b. “Physical”: the injury alleged to have occurred must be to the person, to his or her body.
c. “Injury”: Specifically, injury occurs when evidence of it is still apparent 24 hours after the incident.
d. “Unreasonable use of force”: Reasonable force is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat.
In determining the reasonableness of the force used, the following factors shall be considered:
a. The nature of the misconduct of the student, if any, precipitating the physical contact by the school employee.
b. The size and physical condition of the student.
c. The instrumentality used in making the physical contact.
d. The motivation of the school employee in initiating the physical contact.
e. The extent of the injury to the student resulting from the physical contact.
A. The following do not constitute physical abuse, and no school employee is prohibited from using reasonable and necessary force not designed or intended to cause pain:
1. To quell a disturbance or prevent an act that threatens physical harm to any person.
2. To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a pupil’s control.
3. For the purposes of self-defense or defense of others as provided for in Iowa Code section 704.3.
4. For the protection of property as provided for in Iowa Code section 704.4 or 704.5.
5. To remove a disruptive pupil from school premises, from school-sponsored activities including those off school premises, from class, or from any area of the school premises.
6. To prevent a student from the self-infliction of harm.
7. To protect the safety of others.
B. When using incidental, minor or reasonable physical contact to maintain order and control.
For example, if a school employee sees a fist fight in the hall, he or she would be legally privileged to use physical force to separate the fighting students, so long as the purpose of the force is not to cause pain. Such force might take the form of pushing or pulling students apart, or physically restraining one or more of the students.
2. Sexual Abuse – means any sexual offense as defined by Iowa Code chapter 709, or Iowa Code section 728.12 (1). The term also encompasses acts of the school employee that encourage the student to engage in prostitution as defined by Iowa law, as well as inappropriate, intentional sexual behavior by the school employee toward a student. This would include sexual language and innuendo or behaviors with suggestive sexual overtones, as well as sexual social behaviors such as kissing, dating, etc. It includes sexual harassment or the promise of favorable treatment in return for sexual favors or activities.
Sexual harassment – means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
a. Submission to the conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of the student’s education or benefits;
b. submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student; or
c. the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance by creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive education environment.
School Employee – is broadly defined to include all persons, voluntary or paid, who serve students in a school or instructional setting under the direction and control of:
a. The board of directors or of any administrator of a public school district.
b. The board or authorities in control of a nonpublic school.
c. The board of directors or administrator of an agency called upon by a school official to provide services in an educational capacity to students.
d. A residential institution, not currently covered by Iowa Code chapter 232, providing educational services.
Student – means a person enrolled in a public or nonpublic school or a pre-kindergarten program in a public or nonpublic school established under Iowa law, or a child enrolled in a day care program operated by a public school.
Designated Investigator – means the person or persons appointed by the board of directors of a public school district, or the authorities in control of a private school, at level one, to investigate allegations or reports of abuse of students by school employees, and shall also refer to the appointed alternate.
To constitute a violation of these rules, acts of the school employee must be alleged to have occurred on school grounds, on school time, on a school-sponsored activity, or in any school-related context. Mental or verbal abuse is not covered by these rules.
FILING A STUDENT ABUSE REPORT
Any person who has knowledge of an incident of abuse of a student committed by a school employee may file a report with the designated investigator. The report shall be in writing, signed, and witnessed by a person of majority age, and shall contain the following information:
a. The full name, address, and telephone number of the person filing.
b. The full name, age, address, telephone number, and attendance center of the student.
c. The name and place of employment of the school employee(s) or agents who allegedly committed the abuse.
d. A concise statement of the facts surrounding the incident, including date, time and place of occurrence, if known.
e. A list of possible witnesses by name, if known.
f. Names and locations of any and all persons who examined, counseled or treated the student for the alleged abuse, including the dates on which those services were provided, if known.
An adult must witness the signature of the person filing the report (even if the reporter is also an adult) to discourage vexatious or frivolous reports. An unsigned (anonymous) or un-witnessed report is not required to be investigated.
Student abuse reports will be filed with the designated or alternate investigator who shall aid parties requesting assistance in completing the report. Any school employee receiving a report of alleged abuse of a student by a school employee shall immediately give the report to the designated investigator or alternate and shall not reveal the existence or content of the report to any other person. The names of the designated investigator and alternate shall be posted in all Davenport Community School District buildings.
RESTRAINT AND PHYSICAL DETENTION
If a school employee is being investigated for a violation of the rules (in Chapter 103) that govern restraint and physical detention of students, the matter must also be investigated under Chapter 102. The level one investigator does not determine whether there was a violation of the Chapter 103 rules (unless the level one investigator is also the school employee who investigates violations of Chapter 103). Rather, the level one investigator proceeds with the normal 102 investigation, using the same timelines and same procedures in Chapter 102 for any investigation under Chapter 102 and its rules.
SAFETY OF THE STUDENT
If, in the opinion of the investigator, the student is in imminent danger if continued contact is permitted between the school employee and the student, the District may temporarily remove the student from contact with the school employee or temporarily remove the school employee from service.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION RECORDS
The investigator(s) appointed and retained shall have access to any education records of the allegedly abused student and access to the student for purpose of interviewing and investigating the allegation.
In cases of founded abuse of students by licensed school employees, the law requires the filing of a complaint with the State Board of Educational Examiners, which will do its own investigation for purposes of possible licensure consequences.
- Updated 4/91, 7/99, 11/13