It's important to know that under Washington state law, you are required to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to Children's Protective Services (CPS). Failure to do so could result in your teaching certificate being revoked, which would prevent you from teaching in any public school in Washington.

While some district policies direct principals or their designees to make the report, under the law, employees are not relieved of their responsibility to report if the principal does not act upon the employee's request. Therefore, it is extremely important that teachers obtain documentation that a report has been made. Reports to CPS must be made as soon as possible, but in no case later than 48 hours after first suspecting that abuse/neglect has occurred - even if this means you have to call CPS yourself in order to meet the deadline.

Be sure that a report form has been filled out with one copy retained in the building office, one sent to Special Services, and one kept for your files. Keep your report in a confidential, locked filing cabinet and not left out for others to see or access.

For more information, ask to see your district's reporting policy.