School counselor accused of not reporting child abuse - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

School counselor accused of not reporting child abuse

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Police have accused a Clayton County school counselor of letting child abuse go unreported.

Authorities have charged Cynthia Stamps-Jones, a counselor at King Elementary in College Park, with failure to report suspected child abuse.

Police say Stamps-Jones had been made aware of the suspected abuse of a 5-year-old boy, but allegedly failed to reach the Division of Family and Children Services and did not report it to the principal or police. By law, it is mandatory for school counselor is to report suspected child abuse.

"It's very difficult when we have to hold ourselves and our staff responsible or accountable for these things, but we've got to do it," said Vicki Gavalas of Clayton County Schools.

Stamps-Jones, who was sworn in as a returning member of the Riverdale City Council on Monday, denies the charges. Her attorney, Keith Martin, said that she did report the suspected abuse. Martin said Stamps-Jones followed up with several phone calls and emails to DFCS even when the school was closed because of problems associated with freezing weather. Martin said that Stamps-Jones was later charged by the school district police department after she reported a second case of child abuse to them when school was back in session.

"Next thing she knew, the sheriff is calling her and telling her to turn herself in," Martin said.

Riverdale's mayor said that since the charge is a misdemeanor, Stamps-Jones is allowed to hold her City Council seat.


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