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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118255
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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We have a situation where my husband, a teacher, has a student

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We have a situation where my husband, a teacher, has a student who has been scared and threatened into submission her entire life. It is nothing short of a miracle that she confided in both my husband, and myself. We have gotten to know her stories primarily through text messages, except when my husband sees her at school. She is deathly afraid of the consequences of sharing her information with authorities or social service organizations. It is not uncommon for both of us at one time or another to be texting her at all times when she is not at school, just to check on her well being, and while things are happening at home, we try to guide her in whatever way that we can to ensure her safety. My husband has not had to mandatorily share anything, as there is no evidence of abuse on her anywhere. We do know, however, that we could provide thousands of text messages between the three of us that basically chronicle her daily life of psychological abuse, trauma, and neglect. Because she is so petrified of involving the authorities right now, if my husband gets a text from this student asking him to come and get her, what can he do? Obviously, we need to abide by the laws in the State of Wisconsin. If he went and got her, which he would in an instant, if he could, would that be kidnapping? Is there any other way that she could not involve the "system," that would be options for her? The only place that would be acceptable for her to go, according to her and to us, is in our home. We are the only two people she feels even remotely safe with. She has not even shared with her mother what she has shared with us.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Your husband as a teacher is a mandatory reporter under law. It is not up to your husband to find evidence, the law says if he has reason to believe there is any abuse, he must report the allegation. If it comes out later that she told him about this, he could actually be criminally charged with failure to report and could even lose his teaching certification. Even though she "entrusted" you, your husband, he cannot keep it confidential because of his duty as a mandatory reporter. The principal needs to be notified and child protection needs to be notified regarding this, lest he be accused of neglecting his duty as a teacher and mandatory reporter. I am afraid there are no other agencies to work around the system set up for reporting suspected abuse and he should absolutely not get personally involved in going to get her, he needs to involve the proper government authorities to protect himself and his job.