TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)-- 2 Tallahassee school employees are behind bars after police say they failed to report a sexual abuse case. ABC27 spoke with the Chair of the Magnolia School's Board of Directors and found out what policies the schools has in place when addressing issues of abuse outside of the school.
Susan Smith, the founder and chair of the Board of Directors for the Magnolia School, told ABC27 the employee policy for reporting sexual abuse is listed in the school's handbook. She added the handbook is reviewed with employees at the beginning of each school year.
However, a teacher and the administrative director are now facing charges after police say they broke the law when they failed to adhere to the policy in place.
Tallahassee Police issued warrants for Sunshine Jacobs, the teacher, and Kathleen McGlynn, the director, after they failed to notify authorities that a 12-year-old student reported being abused in their home. Instead, the employees are accused of developing a "safety plan" between the victim, the victim's mother and the school.
Florida statue says anyone who knows of a minor being sexually abused must report that information to the Department of Children and Families.
In this case, the student reported back in January to Jacobs, that they did not feel safe at home. But it wasn't until a third-party contacted DCF in March that police learned of the continuing abuse.
According to Florida statue, anyone who knows of a minor being sexually abused must report that information to DCF. But, in this instance, the student reported back in January that they did not feel safe at home.
It wasn't until a third-party contacted DCF in March that police learned of the continuing abuse.
The Magnolia School issued this statement:
"Some of you may have seen in the news that a warrant was issued to Sunshine and Katy for not complying with Chapter 39.205(1) F.S., which requires teachers to report alleged abuse to D.C.F. Student safety is very important to all of us in the Magnolia Community. Katy and Sunshine will be away from school until this matter is resolved, and we will be closely monitoring for further developments. We're developing a plan to ensure your child's instruction does not suffer during this time."
The chair of the Board of Directors added that Jacobs and McGlynn's response to this incident is unique and that safety plans are not part of the school's normal policy when addressing sexual abuse.
At this time, the board is reviewing the case, as well as, the actions of the employees. The chair told ABC27 Jacobs and McGlynn do not work at the school at this present time.