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Report: Conn. School District Inadequately Responded to Child Abuse Allegations

The report began after a school district employee was charged for allegedly inappropriately texting a 13-year-old student.

Connecticut officials reviewing Hartford Public Schools’ handling of child abuse and neglect complaints found major flaws in the district’s response.

State officials released a report Feb. 10 on the district’s policies, procedures and practices over the last several years relating to public complaints that administrators knew a district employee had been abusing a child.

District official Eduardo Genao, 47, was charged with a felony count of impairing the morals of a child after Hartford Police investigated accusations by a woman that he’d been inappropriately texting her 13-year-old daughter. Genao has pled not guilty to those charges.

RELATED: How to Respond to Suspected Child Abuse

The state’s Office of the Child Advocate interviewed school officials and reviewed welfare records over the last nine months to identify six major mistakes made by the district.

“This report reveals a decade-long failure to protect children in our schools, and the Board of Education and District leaders must take immediate, aggressive steps to fix it,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who requested the review, said.

State Child’s Advocate Sarah Eagan told of the report’s main findings:

  • The district failed to regularly review and update its mandated reporting policy
  • The district insufficiently trained its mandated reporters
  • Mandated reporters failed to report suspicions that school employees neglected or abused a child
  • The Department of Children and Families did not have a system in place to efficiently document, track and address delays or the failure to make mandated reports.
  • District employees who engaged in misconduct were not held accountable
  • Children with disabilities are especially vulnerable to abuse or neglect

To read the district’s full action plan in response to the report, click here.

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