I wanted to update you on the additional education we have had on the coronavirus. Yesterday, Brian Ross, President of the Board, Perri Hoyt, Guidance Counselor, and I met with Dr. Tim Lane, a retired infectious disease doctor, and Marlene Baruch, Congregational nurse from Jewish Family Services.
Dr. Lane emphasized that the biggest thing we can do is to reinforce hygiene.
I have spoken to the staff and faculty about having the children wash their hands when they enter the school, and frequently throughout the day. Dr. Lane also said we should all get in the habit of using hand sanitizer when we walk in a room and when we walk out. His exact words were, "gel in and gel out.".
Finally, Dr. Lane said that unless kids or staff are presenting with symptoms there is not much else we can do except to remind everyone to stay home if they are sick.
Dr. Lane will continue to advise us about the coronavirus as needed. I have included a link about how to talk to your children about the coronavirus.
On a very different note, on Wednesday, the staff and faculty were trained on the December 2019 law change in North Carolina on reporting suspected child abuse.
The training was sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools and Elizabeth Troutman, attorney at Brooks Pierce, was the presenter. Elizabeth advised us to please send information about this new law to our parent body. I am sharing this with you because this law applies to all persons over the age of 18.
By enacting Session Law 2019-245, the North Carolina General Assembly imposed new broad-sweeping requirements to protect children, making failure to report certain criminal acts perpetrated against children a crime. The new law mandates that any individual over the age of 18 who knows or reasonably should know that a juvenile is the victim of child abuse, a violent offense, or a sexually violent offense report that information to law enforcement.
Prior to this law, individuals over the age of 18 were required to report child abuse, child neglect, and child dependency to the local Department of Social Services. This requirement remains in place, but now child abuse and other offenses must be reported to law enforcement as well. Notably, there is no exception if the violent offense or sexually violent offense is perpetrated by another child; nor is there an exemption for parents.
This law does say that the report needs to be made as soon as anyone has information about abuse against a child. It is a crime to wait to report, even for a day. If you were to become aware of any type of abuse against a child in our school, we would be happy to walk you through the process and help you make the report.
Naturally, we all hope that you will never need to make such a report. Please contact me with any questions you may have.