The whistleblowers revealed their belief that the senior minister, as a mandated reporter, neglected to hotline Brandon M. after being notified multiple times of possible abuse of a minor. The case study, “Is it Enough?,” listed three people who had notified the senior minister. There is no incidence of which I am aware that any of the informers refuted the account of their telling the senior minister of their concerns. Dawn and her counselor reported to the hotline. Code states that the threshold is “reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse.” It does not require that a reporter must be an eyewitness to the abuse. The people who alerted the senior minister had personal interaction with Brandon M. They saw enough of his behavior to have a reasonable suspicion. Doesn’t the transfer of their concern to the senior minister obligate him to report based on their information? I’m just asking.

Here is the terminology under Section 210.115.1-210.115.3 of the Missouri Reporting Requirement statute.

“When any {a long listing of professions, including teacher} or any other person with responsibility for the care of children has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonable result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately report to the DIVISION (emphasis mine) in accordance with the provisions of sections 210.109 and 210.183. No internal investigation shall be initiated until such a report has been made.”

In addition to this, paragraph 3. of the same Section states:

“3. The reporting requirements under this section are individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit any reporting under this section. No person making a report under this section shall be subject to any sanction, including any adverse employment action, for making such a report.”

A personal injury suit has been filed by one of the victims with the senior minister and FCCF listed as defendants. Perhaps this issue will be addressed by the adjudication.

“Mr. Wingfield gave passing reference to ministering to the hurting and began the topic of what he knew and when he knew it regarding Brandon’s activities. He stated that he and the leadership did not know until right before the news of Brandon’s arrest went public because one of the victims and his family called for a meeting to discuss honoring the family’s privacy. He intimated that two days before the arrest was the first time he had heard of Brandon’s conduct with minor boys. We in the audience knew from reading “Is it Enough?” that at least three people notified Steve about Brandon in the 2011—2012 time-frame. A chaperone who went on a mission trip with the youth in 2011 to Joplin, MO warned him. Dawn Varvil warned him in February 2012. The Pastor of Gateway Christian Church warned him in February 2012. The room temperature went up several degrees in response to his attempt to redirect the onus from him for not reporting Brandon to the authorities three years earlier.” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews — The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022, Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, p. 81.)

#aviewfromthepews  #forthevictims

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