Student Safety

PLEASE NOTE: This is an outline of some significant provisions applicable to Pennsylvania Christian schools. Many details are omitted for brevity. KCEA’s Administrative Handbook and its frequent Special Reports give the necessary details.

Transportation

  • Transporting exclusively school-age children (and sponsors) for exclusively education purposes requires a vehicle which meets state Motor Vehicle Division and Federal safety requirements for school transportation
  • Use only vehicles approved for “school” usage for all student transportation, including all field trips, sports trips, etc.
  • Some “church” activities may be covered by the definitions of “exclusively education purposes”
  • Bus drivers (of vehicles built with a capacity of 16 people or more) must have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a “P” endorsement when driving a bus other than for school-related transportation
  • Bus drivers engaged in any school-related bus transportation must have a valid CDL license with a class “S” endorsement
  • Safeguard yourself by having a log of all students on a vehicle anytime a trip is made
  • Every bus that crosses a state line must have a Federal DOT number and must be operated under DOT rules for all trips
  • Busses over 26,000 GVW or those operated under DOT rules may be subject to additional motor fuel tax regulations through the PA Department of Revenue
  • As of January 1, 1996 — It is mandated that each owner/operator of a bus(ses) (16 passenger or larger) must have a written drug and alcohol program — including, but not limited to:
    • Prescribed training for “bus supervisors”
    • Random drug/alcohol testing of all drivers (volunteer or paid)
    • Arrangements for post-accident drug/alcohol testing
    • Prescribed record keeping requirements

Child Abuse Reporting Requirements

  • Must report “child abuse” as defined in law — including physical, mental, sexual, and neglect
  • Must report if one has “reasonable cause to suspect” abuse has occurred
  • Pastors, school administrators, school teachers, school nurses, social service workers, child care workers, foster care workers, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses, and other “professionals” are required to make reports
  • The pastor’s privilege of confidentiality of communications of statements made in secret for the purpose of obtaining spiritual direction or counseling is preserved
  • Third-party allegations do trigger a requirement to report if the other requirements are met
  • The “child” must be under the age of 18 to trigger a mandated report
  • All new employees and private contractors in child care and school settings must obtain a current DPW Child Abuse History Clearance and supply the school with a file copy (This is in addition to the State Police Criminal Background Check and FBI Check)