This course reviews the responsibilities of staff members as mandatory reporters of child abuse, as well as identifies boundary invasion policies and practices that protect students and staff. This course covers the law as it relates to mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse, including sexual misconduct between staff and students, boundary invasion dangers and behaviors that are inappropriate in relationships with students, and effective boundary policies that educational institutions can employ. The content in this course was designed with care and sensitivity; however, some may find certain topics personally upsetting, especially for survivors of sexual abuse or assault. If you feel the need to talk with someone, please contact your Human Resources Administrator or a related resource in your community.
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Donald F. Austin
Donald Austin has practiced law since 1986 primarily in the areas of school law and public entity defense. He was General Counsel for California's Ventura Unified School District for eight years, where he handled nearly all legal issues for that 17,500 student district. In 2004 he was President of the California Council of School Attorneys. Mr. Austin's experience includes litigation of a wide variety of school law issues. Before practicing law, Mr. Austin taught English and coached football, wrestling, soccer, and swimming at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon.
Michael A. Patterson
Mr. Patterson is the senior principal at Patterson Buchanan. He has significant civil trial and appellate experience, having tried more than 100 cases to verdict in both federal and state courts, and having argued over two dozen cases in federal and state appellate courts. Mr. Patterson concentrates his practice on high stakes, high profile litigation and has represented scores of school districts. He won the Mary Kay Letourneau case for the Highline School District. With his big case experience, he is frequently called upon to be the media spokesperson for clients involved in difficult situations.