Mandatory Reports to Child Protective Services by School Site Administrator or Designee
School personnel are mandated reporters, and are therefore required to file a report with Child Protective Services (CPS) if they have knowledge of or observe a child whom the reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. The report must be made immediately or as soon as is practically possible by telephone, and the reporter must prepare and fax or electronically transmit a written report of the incident within 36 hours of receiving the information about the incident. CPS Hotline: (415) 558-2650 or 1-800-856-5553.
Child abuse and neglect includes (1) physical injury inflicted upon a child by other than accidental means; (2) sexual abuse or assault; (3) neglect (negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by person responsible for their welfare indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare), (4) willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child, and (5) unlawful corporal punishment or injury.
Child abuse or neglect does not include a mutual affray between minors; an injury caused by reasonable and necessary force used by a peace officer acting within the course and scope of their employment as a peace officer; or reasonable and necessary force used by a school employee to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to another person or damage to property, for purposes of self-defense, or to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects within the control of the student.
Child Abuse Investigations
Police and/or Child Protective Services workers have the authority to interview children at school regarding allegations of child abuse if they have (1) a court order or warrant, (2) parental consent, or (3) exigent circumstances.
We understand that being contacted by Child Protective Services (CPS) can be upsetting and we ask that families and caregivers do not contact the school or school employees to confront them or ask them if they contacted CPS. The identity of a reporting party is confidential and may only be disclosed to agencies that are receiving, investigating or prosecuting CPS reports. (CA Penal Code 11167(d)(1)) Employees are mandated reporters and can be subject to legal fines or imprisonment if they do not report. (CA Penal Code 11166(c))
Under California Penal Code 626.4, a school administrator may withdraw access to a school “whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of such campus or facility.” (CA Penal Code 626.4(a)) Threatening or intimidating staff with physical harm or future physical confrontation can result in the school administrator issuing a stay away letter.
See the full Handbook and downloadable, translated PDFs at sfusd.edu/Handbook.
This page was last updated on August 16, 2023