Although the Brentwood district has been rocked by a teacher physically abusing a student, that district appeared to be going above and beyond its legal requirements for training, in its response to this newspaper's survey. In addition to saying it trained every employee annually, the district has a separate board policy outlining the mandated reporting law and specifying the superintendent or his designee "shall provide training regarding the reporting duties of mandated reporters."
Superintendent Merrill Grant was fired by the board Feb. 27 because of public outcry after numerous employees failed to report a special-education teacher kicked a 5-year-old student and Grant merely moved the teacher to another school instead of trying to terminate her. The state's credentialing agency yanked her credentials a few years after she was convicted of the abuse.
Grant wrote in the survey that each employee was trained when hired and was reminded of the mandated reporter responsibility at back-to-school site meetings. But outraged parents have pushed the district to offer comprehensive training by the Child Abuse Prevention Council, in addition to online training.
"It's important because, obviously, there was a breakdown, a systematic failure of reporting," said Marie Fajardo, co-chairwoman of the district's special education Community Advisory Committee, which was formed in response to the kicking incident.
The board has also disciplined three other employees.
At the time of the incident, the district's employee handbook included an outdated mandated reporting law from the 1980s that has since been amended.