KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The number of abuse complaints against teachers in the Kansas City, Missouri, Public School District ( KCMSD) is substantially higher from last year. The President of the Kansas City Federation of Teachers sent an email warning teachers about what to do if they are accused of abusing students.
During the entire 2011 school year, the Department of Family Services (DFS) received complaints of child abuse against 34 KCMSD teachers. The complaints were made to the DFS child abuse hotline. During the first semester of 2012, the DFS hotline has already had complaints against 34 teachers.
"It's an alarming increase," said Andrea Flinders, President of the Kansas City Federation of Teachers (KCFT).
The AFT President said there is no apparent reason for the increase.
Teachers in almost every school in the district are being hotlined and there's no one person or group of people making complaints.
The KCFT President sent a letter to union members warning teachers to call the union headquarters first before making any statement to district officials or DFS.
"We will send a legal representative with the teacher so they are not alone during the interview," Flanders added.
"We are here to protect the rights of our teachers," Flanders explained.
Flinders added that so far this year DFS has determined that the accusations against the teachers were unsubstantiated. She considers that a victory for teachers.
KCMSD leaders would not comment since the cases are personnel matters and therefore confidential. However district leaders did say that they are please people concerned about protecting students are calling the DFS child abuse hotline.
The DFS child abuse hotline number is 1-800-392-3738.