Child Protective Investigations
Florida law provides that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver or other person responsible for the child’s welfare must report such knowledge to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The school will cooperate with all child protective investigations by DCF or the local law enforcement agency. Reports should be made to Florida’s Department of Children and Families by calling the Abuse Hotline at: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).
Child protective investigations by DCF or local law enforcement agencies sometimes include interviews of students at school and may occur without advance notice. When it is reasonably possible, the school will seek to notify the parents that their child has been asked to participate in a child protective investigation. The school may also request the presence of a school staff member during investigative interviews on school property. However, please note that, under Florida law, DCF and local law enforcement have the discretion to conduct unannounced interviews and to disallow school staff member’s presence during these interviews.
The school is committed to promoting a safe, healthy, caring, and respectful learning environment for all of its students. As such, bullying is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Therefore, this policy prohibits any unwelcome verbal or written conduct or gestures directed at a student by another student that has the effect of:
(1) physically, emotionally, or mentally harming a student;
(2) damaging, extorting or taking a student’s personal property;
(3) placing a student in reasonable fear of emotional or mental harm;
(4) placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
(5) creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or the Catholic mission of the school.
Harassment and Discrimination
The school is committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. In keeping with this commitment, the school will not tolerate harassment or discrimination on the basis of a person’s protected status, such as gender, color, race, ancestry, national origin, age, physical disability, mental condition, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status. All employees, faculty members and students are protected under this policy. In addition, this policy applies to all conduct occurring on school grounds, at assignments outside the school, or at school-sponsored events. All students are responsible for helping to assure that any harassment or discrimination is reported. If a student witnesses or learns of any conduct that violates this policy, the student must immediately report the incident to his/her principal. If, however, the principal is the individual who is believed to have engaged in the inappropriate conduct, the student should notify the Superintendent of Schools of the Diocese of Palm Beach. If an investigation reveals that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the school will take corrective action based on the circumstances.
Diocese of Palm Beach Office of Safe Environments
The Office of Safe Environments oversees the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. Recognizing that each individual is created by God, the Diocese of Palm Beach is committed
to the safety and well-being of its children and vulnerable adults and implements procedures to minimize risk and barriers and to build and foster a culture of safe environment.
For more information, please visit the Office of Safe Environments page in the Diocese of Palm Beach's website at http://www.diocesepb.org/safe-environments