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CALL 6: IPS refers bathroom taping case to CPS

Posted at 10:25 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 10:49:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Public Schools is asking Child Protective Services to investigate an incident at George Washington Community High School on the city’s west side.

Call 6 Investigates received a viewer concern about how school officials handled the situation, which occurred on November 18.

Per an internal school report obtained by Call 6 Investigates, a male student videotaped another student using the restroom and allegedly posted pictures on Facebook. The district’s follow-up investigation into the matter turned up no images on the alleged recording.

The initial report suggested the student, whose name we’re not disclosing, was expelled for “the inappropriate use of a portable communication device.”

The district’s policy on personal technology devices details the course of action school officials need to take: they should file an incident report; contact school police; and then refer the case to Child Protective Services. The school filed an incident report and contacted school police, but there was no call to CPS.

Seven months later, IPS is now referring the case to CPS, even though the district doesn’t believe its policy was violated. The district released the following statement to Call 6:

“Indianapolis Public Schools Board policy and administrative guidelines regarding incident reporting are specific and clear. In the November 2015 matter at George Washington Community High School, administrators immediately investigated allegations of student misconduct and contacted school police. As the allegations did not involve an adult and an immediate search revealed no evidence of abuse or neglect, school administrators were not required by IPS administrative guidelines to report the allegations to Child Protective Services (CPS). As an added component of our investigation, however, Indianapolis Public Schools Human Resources has reported the matter to CPS. The safety and wellbeing of our students is paramount; erring on the side of caution is always the expectation of our school administrators when addressing student discipline concerns.”

Child Protective Services does not comment on pending or ongoing cases.  

CPS spokesman James Wide told RTV6:

"In Indiana we are all mandatory reporters, so I will take this as a report and send it to our hotline.

Apart from any policy that the school system has in play, the school is a mandatory reporter and must make a report immediately upon learning of an incident. As far as schools not knowing how to report, we are more than happy to come and do training at any school in the state. We have 92 offices around the state (one in each county), and our folks will eagerly train an institution on how to report.”

Wilde added that the agency developed this computer assisted training to help anyone learn how to recognize and report child abuse and/or neglect.  The link is www.reportchildabuse.dcs.in.gov.