By Jennifer Moody, Albany Democrat-Herald | Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011 11:42 pm
OREGON- Albany schools changed their policy on police interrogation of students in sex-abuse cases because of an appeals court decision in an Oregon case now before the Supreme Court.*
Schools now make sure that a staff member is in the room with any child being questioned about suspected abuse.
Acting on a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Albany schools alerted principals more than a year ago to change the way sex abuse investigations are handled at schools.
Previously, schools specifically were told not to tell parents if an officer wanted to question a child at school about allegations of abuse, particularly if a parent was suspected, said Wayne Goates, Albany’s director of student services.
In February 2010, following the 9th Circuit decision, Albany principals were told to give officers the option of contacting parents.
Now, Goates said, “Basically when an officer comes in saying he needs to talk to a child about child abuse, we provide them the information of the parents. The officer has to make the determination whether they’re going to contact the parents or not. That’s their judgment call.”
The policy is the same for police and child welfare workers, Goates said.
If parents are not contacted, Goates said, the district makes certain that someone from the school is present to provide support for the child being interrogated. FULL STORY
*This is the Greene v. Camreta case. See our earlier story SCOTUS hears Greene v Camreta