Massachusetts’ Child Abuse Reporting Statute
An analysis of the child abuse reporting statute of the state of Massachusetts.
This paper examines the Massachusetts’ state law that requires mandatory reporting of reasonable suspicions of child abuse for certain persons in positions of authority over children. The paper describes that no longer can teachers rationalize that problems of abuse must be dealt with within the home or by the child alone and teachers must now report such signs or be subject to criminal and monetary sanctions. The author writes that the law provides that those who watch our nation’s children while they are outside of their parents’home must tell the government if abuse is occurring inside or outside the home.
`The management of the law will prove very difficult. Incidents of child abuse are inherently private and perceptions of such incidents are subjective. Whether such incidents actually occurred would be anyone’s guess. In fact, even if a teacher or administrator actually witnessed such child abuse acts (obviously, actually witnessing an act of abuse as opposed to just suspecting abuse would be rare) and failed to report them, probably 99% of the time, no one would ever know.`