Child Abuse MOU
Below is the text of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by
FEA and DoDDS in November, 1999, on the issue of child abuse
reporting and allegations.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN
THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION ACTIVITY AND
THE FEDERAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) and the
Federal Education Association (FEA), in its capacity as bargaining agent
for its bargaining unit within the Department of Defense Dependents
Schools (DoDDS), enter into this Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) for the purpose of adopting appropriate arrangements and
supplementary procedures to implement DoDEA Regulation 2050.9 "The
Family Advocacy Program Process and Procedures for Reporting
Incidents of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect", dated 27 January
1. The parties recognize that the Regulation refers to the duties and
responsibilities of bargaining unit employees in their professional
activities. The Regulation is not intended to diminish or enlarge any rights,
privileges, immunities or obligation otherwise provided for by federal,
state or host nation laws.
2. The parties acknowledge, that pursuant to the requirements of the
"Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990", 42 U.S.C. 13031, the installation
Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is the focal point for reporting and
referring suspected or alleged incidents of child abuse or neglect. An
employee who learns of facts that give reasons to suspect that a child
has suffered an incident of child abuse, shall as soon as possible (but in
all cases not later than the end of the duty day) report the matter to the
FAP and the school principal or designee. When contacting FAP officials
to make a report an employee may request assistance from other school
personnel in facilitating the employee's obligation to contact FAP
In the absence of sufficient information to reasonably suspect that an
incident of child abuse has taken place, the employee may refer the
matter to the school nurse, guidance personnel or school administrator for
appropriate action, if necessary.
3. When an employee has been accused of institutional child abuse or
neglect, the parties acknowledge that the school principal retains
discretion to determine what measures should be taken to protect both
the alleged child abuse victim or victims, as well as the rights of the
accused, including, but not limited to: placing the accused educator on
administrative leave or removing the child from the accused educator’s
4. Concerning allegations of institutional child abuse or neglect, the
applicable rights of the accused employee shall, in all cases, be observed.
a. The right to be notified of the allegations made against the employee,
normally within one working day of the initial report of the allegation,
unless the FAP, DoDEA or appropriate law enforcement agency
determines that to do so would compromise its investigation or the safety
of children. Referral to the FAP and to the school principal pursuant to
DoDEA Regulation 2050.9, is not intended to alter or eliminate the
traditional role of school principals or other management officials in
providing appropriate feedback to employees affected by any alleged
incidents of child abuse or neglect.
b. The right to have union representation during any investigative
interview by persons acting on behalf of the Agency, to include any
military investigative personnel, and upon the employee’s request, the
right to have a union representative present during any investigative
interview if the employee reasonably believes disciplinary action may
c. When interviewed by persons outside of the school, the employee has
the right to have the interview conducted away from the school site,
unless the interviewer determines that presence at the school site is a
material aspect of the interview. In such cases the interview will take
place during the times when school is not in session, where possible.
d. Where an allegation of child abuse is unsubstantiated, the employee
has the right to a letter documenting the disposition of the allegation of
abuse if requested by the employee. Copies of that letter will be
distributed, at the employee’s request, to all persons who received notice
of the allegation.
5. To aid in the process of reporting suspected or alleged incidents of
child abuse, DoDEA agrees to the following:
a. Annually post the FAP Officer’s name and telephone number in each
b. Provide periodic and on-going training to bargaining unit employees in
the identification of child abuse.
c. All new employees will be provided information about their rights and
responsibilities. Employees will receive annual updates of any changes.
Conditions under which employees may be required to view the training
compact disk, entitled "Child Abuse Identification and Prevention" will be
worked out at the local level.
d. Request that military community commanders provide instruction
annually to stakeholders regarding the identification and reporting of child
abuse and neglect, to include information as to the serious nature of any
allegation of child abuse.
e. Observe the confidentiality and privacy right of employees accused of
child abuse in accordance with the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. To
ensure that the due process and privacy rights of an accused educator
are protected, the school administration will make efforts to communicate
with parents in a secure manner when such communication is about
allegations of institutional child abuse.
f. Return employees detailed from their normal teaching assignments
because of an allegation of child abuse to their normal assignment if the
investigation of the allegation is not completed within 60 days unless the
employee and the union are notified beforehand.
g. Employees who make good faith reports of child abuse or suspected
child abuse will be immune from civil and criminal liability arising out of
such good faith reports pursuant to the "Victims of Child Abuse Act of
h. Employees detailed to a work site beyond the normal commute will
receive travel entitlements in accordance with the JTR and
Government-wide regulations and travel time will be considered hours of
work when authorized by law, rule or regulation.
6. Employees against whom an allegation of child abuse is made may be
eligible for counseling through the Agency’s Employee Assistance
Program, the local DoD FAP office or under the Federal Employees
7. The parties also acknowledge that wherever the term "immediately"
appears in the Regulation, it is understood to mean "as soon as possible"
given the context of an educator’s exigent responsibilities to supervise
children, but in no circumstances later than the end of the duty day in
which the suspicion of abuse becomes known.
8. The parties further acknowledge that an educator’s use of reasonable
force to restrain a student is appropriate to prevent the student from
harming himself or herself, harming others or destroying property.
Appropriate use of physical restraint under these circumstances is neither
child abuse nor corporal punishment.
9. The parties further acknowledge that in addition to the requirements of
DoDEA Regulation 2050.9, corporal punishment, whether or not
amounting to child abuse, is prohibited by DoDEA Regulation 2051.1,
"Department of Defense Education Activity Disciplinary Rules and
10. Any discipline of an employee, whether for child abuse or corporal
punishment, will be taken in accordance with procedures set forth in the
Negotiated Agreement between the parties and applicable laws. If the
Agency proposes discipline against an employee because of an allegation
of child abuse, the Agency will make available to the employee all
reports, which the Agency relied upon in proposing discipline.
11. The employee will be informed of any record or registry that is to be
maintained on any child abuse allegation made against the educator,
where and by whom the record is maintained, to the extent the Agency is
aware of such record or registry.
12. Where there is any conflict between any instructional compact disks,
manuals or directives concerning child abuse issued through DoDEA and
the Regulation/MOU, the Regulation/MOU will take precedence.
(signed) James Lewis for DoDDS, November 4, 1999
(signed) Karen Rose for FEA, November, 3, 1999