by Sam Clanton
FORSYTH, Mo. – Teachers and professionals with the Forsyth School District receive mandated training on reporting suspected child abuse and neglect from Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell on Wednesday.
Merrell says the training covers why reporting suspected child abuse is important, the warning signs of abuse, and the nuts and bolts of when and how to hotline.
According to Merrell, an estimated 683-thousand school age children are known victims of abuse each year. He says one in four females and one in six males will experience some form of sexual abuse prior to their 18th birthday.
The session at the Forsyth Performing Arts Center marked the first in a series of upcoming training sessions for Taney County schools. In March, Merrell will be presenting to professionals at the Kirbyville School District.
Merrell advises anyone with reasonable cause to believe a child has been the victim of physical or sexual abuse to contact the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit at 1-800-392-3738, or visit the online reporting portal at https://apps.dss.mo.gov/OnlineCanReporting/default.aspx.