SDUSD Video to Fight Against Child Abuse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new video produced by students at Point Loma High School stars SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten discussing how important it is to report abuse and bullying at schools. NBC 7's education reporter Rory Devine has details. (Published Thursday, Apr 10, 2014)

    Steps are being taken by the San Diego Unified School District to make sure suspected child abuse in schools is reported.

    A video produced by students at Point Loma High will soon be on the district's website -- telling parents how to report suspected child abuse without having to dig through numerous web links to find the right one.

    The video speaks volumes to those who have been fighting for change.

    In the video, Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Marten assures parents that there are extensive measures in place to protect children.

    Though the video is not official yet, parents like Susan Hopps-Tatum have seen what's been done so far.

    “I'm overwhelmed at how far we’ve come," Hopps-Tatum said.

    Almost three years ago, she and parent Judy Neufeld demanded change in how abuse is reported and investigated. They filed complaints and asked for investigations.

    Their efforts resulted in a county grand jury report that backed their belief: the school police department should not investigate itself.

    "The school police will not be the first and foremost entity called," said Hopps-Tatum. "Principals will not be calling school police if they suspect abuse. They will be calling the child abuse hotline."

    Hopps-Tatum said reports to the hotline are turned over to the San Diego Police Department, which will sort out who should investigate the allegation.

    “I think we’ve made so much progress”, she said. “Do I think it’s a perfect world yet? No, but I’m hoping, with Superintendent Marten leading this coalition of agencies and top leaders, we will see a shift in the comfort level of reporting."

    The school district has been working with the District Attorney’s office, the San Diego Police Department and other agencies to focus on child abuse reporting.

    The district hopes to have the final version of the video on its website in the near future.