By Victor Skinner
OMAHA, Neb. – After a sordid sex scandal between a teacher and students at a local middle school, Omaha district officials have adopted a 24-hour deadline for reporting sexual misconduct to police.
The change comes at the urging of local law enforcement officials who last year investigated alleged sexual misconduct by Nathan Hale Middle School teacher Shad Knudson after district officials’ internal investigation dissolved.
Knudson was ultimately charged with seven felonies and is awaiting trial. Local police told the Omaha World-Herald they are encouraged by the policy change, but contend that a more immediate reporting requirement would be better.
Douglas County Attorney Don Klein, Sharpy County Attorney Lee Polikov and other local law enforcement officials told the newspaper that the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law requires teachers to report abuse allegations immediately, and the new policy in Omaha could cause unnecessary delays.
“The best policy is to react immediately,” Sharpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said. “Twelve hours could be a lifetime to a child who’s being abused.”
Omaha Education Association President Chris Prouix told the Omaha World Herald that clarifying the reporting requirement for teachers is a good thing, but “said teachers will want to know what reasonable protections will be put in place to shield them from false allegations.”
Read the full story at Omaha.com.