Letter to the Editor – No excuses: Report all cases of suspected abuse

Santa Fe New Mexican

September 14, 2021

By Steven J. Carrillo

Regarding Friday’s editorial (“Schools must handle allegations better,” Our View, Sept. 10), I think the newspaper could have gone further in holding those involved in this alleged child abuse case to account.

Whether the accused is found guilty or innocent, a major failure was committed by those involved who failed to report. Refer to the New Mexico Administrative Code — — and Section 24 therein.

Having served on the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education for nine years, I know that our policy was that if anyone, bus driver, cafeteria worker, aide, teacher — anyone — suspected any kind of child abuse, sexual or otherwise, he or she was required to report it to an immediate supervisor.

Failure to report — and this includes supervisors and principals — to the district and law enforcement would result in immediate removal from the school site and the person being placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

There was absolutely no “rising to the level of reporting.” All staff at Santo Niño Regional Catholic School, Gonzales Community School and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe must be held to account.

Steven J. Carrillo

commissioner, District 10

New Mexico Public Education Commission