Reporting Misconduct & Abuse

All employees and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety or welfare of a student.  Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol abuse, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or test violations, physical aggression, and accepting offers and favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to administration, specifically Melissa Kramer, Executive Director, by calling 904-556-7330 or speaking to her directly.  Reports of misconduct by administrators should be made to the Board of Directors, by letter, at the address on registry at Sunbiz.org for Trusting Him, Inc. (the parent organization).


Legally sufficient allegations by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affect health, safety or welfare of a student are additionally posted in the teacher break room.


Growing Together Behavioral Center employees and staff have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. GTBC takes these reports very serious and encourage all staff to report any cases as soon as possible. If you suspect parents, teachers or care givers any wrong doing informs your supervisor to start taking the appropriate actions. School officials will call the appropriate law enforcements, JSO and DCF with the school/teachers report of child abuse. Along with contacting the correct authorities there are other ways to report child abuse. In the state of Florida there is a 24 hour hotline employees can call, 1(800)-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873) or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/. 


Child Abuse and or neglect can be any of the following:

·  A physical injury inflicted on a child by another person other than by accidental means.

·  The sexual abuse, assault, or exploitation of a child. 

·  Treatment of a child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare. This is whether the harm or threatened harm is from acts or omissions on the part of the responsible person. 

·  The willful harming or endangerment of the person or health of a child, any cruel or inhumane corporal punishment or any injury resulting in a traumatic condition.


One does not have to be physically present or witness the abuse to identify suspected cases of abuse, or even have definite proof that a child may be subject to child abuse or neglect. Rather, the law requires that a person have a “reasonable suspicion” that a child has been the subject of child abuse or neglect. Under the law, this means that it is reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion of child abuse or neglect, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person, in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. 


Red flags for abuse and neglect are often identified by observing a child’s behavior at school, recognizing physical signs, and observations of dynamics during routine interactions with certain adults. While the following signs are not proof that a child is the subject of abuse or neglect, they should prompt one to look further. 

Signs of an Emotionally Abused Child

·  Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong.

·  Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive). 

·  Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver. 

·  Acts either inappropriately adult-like (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, throwing tantrums).

Warning Signs of Physical Abused Child

·  Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts.

·  Is always watchful and “on alert” as if waiting for something bad to happen. 

·  Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt. 

·  Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home. 

·  Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days. 

Warning Signs of a Neglected child 

·  Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather.

·  Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor). 

·  Untreated illnesses and physical injuries. 

·  Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments. 

·  Is frequently late or missing from school. 

Warning Signs of a Sexually Abused Child

·  Trouble walking or sitting.

·  Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior. 

·  Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason. 

·  Doesn’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities. 

·  A sexually transmitted disease (STD) or pregnancy, especially under the age of fourteen. 

·  Runs away from home

Warning signs of a pattern of abuse

·  Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors.  While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.

Liability Protections of Mandatory Reporting

All employees understand they are mandatory reporters in the State of Florida. Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action.  

If, however, an employee knowingly makes false claims the penalty in the State of Florida is a felony in the 3rd.


Statement of Ethics and Conduct

As a school of excellence, we value the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. We believe the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all is essential to the achievement of these standards. For this reason, we require all instructional personnel and administrators, as a condition of employment, to complete training on our standards of ethical conduct on an annual basis.  


As a school in pursuit of guaranteeing equal opportunity to all, our ethics standards include, but are not limited to the following: 


Our primary concern will always be our students and the development of his/her greatest potential. All teachers and staff will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity, with the support of the Administration who will provide training and be available when questions/challenges arise throughout the year. 

  • Concern for the student requires that our instructional personnel: 
  • Will always make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student's mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
  • Will always provide the least restrictive opportunities for a student to experience independent action in pursuit of learning.
  • Will never unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view. 
  • Will never intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student's academic program. 
  • Will never intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement. 
  • Will never intentionally violate or deny a student's legal rights. 
  • Will never harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and Will make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination. 
  • Will never exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage. 
  •  Will never divulge personally identifiable information obtained while providing professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law. 

At GTBC, we believe there is great importance in maintaining the respect and confidence of colleagues, students, parents, the community, and with such the employees of GTBC must display the highest degree of ethical conduct. This commitment requires that our employees:

  • Maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
  • Will not deny a colleague the professional benefits of, advantages from, or participation in, any professional organization on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, or social and family background, if otherwise qualified. 
  • Will not interfere with a colleague's exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities. 
  • Will not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct within or outside the workplace, including but not limited to:
    • Harassment or discrimination in a way that interferes with his/her performance of professional or work responsibilities.
    • Harassment or discrimination in a way that interferes with the orderly processes of education or creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment.
    • Will make reasonable effort to assure that everyone, colleague, student and other staff, is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
    • Will not maliciously or intentionally make false statements about a colleague.