DCF says they've followed investigative policy in Yulee Primary School probe

Clark Fouraker reports. 9/20/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Allegations continued to pile on Tuesday from families who say Yulee Primary School didn't treat their kids right and now say the agency charged with protecting children isn't investigating right either.

"I could hardly believe it," says Sarah Faber, a local mom, describing a day she observed her son's class.

She ended up pulling her son out of Yulee Primary School altogether and says he continues to struggle at his new school.

"The way those teachers were handling things was just out of control," Faber says.

The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating, but parents have concerns about that too.

They say they weren't notified before their children were interviewed by investigators and have concerns those investigators were not trained to handled ESE students.

"They're already a vulnerable population, so what are you doing to ensure that you're getting test best interview possible, that you're not causing trauma to the child, and that you're getting the information you need," says child welfare attorney Patricia Parker.

The Child Protection Team, Parker says, has offices all over the state and is trained to help agencies interview vulnerable populations.

"A defense attorney may be able to pick apart the fact that this is a vulnerable population of children. That may be an issue so they need to make sure they get it right," she says.

Parker also says DCF is not required to notify parents before interviewing their children.

"Children and Families operating policy states that if we make initial contact with children outside of the home, that we should notify those children's parents the same day. We are in compliance with that policy," an agency spokesman says via email.

The agency says they met with a school official before talking with students.

Many parents today reached out to Jacksonville's Down Syndrome Association hoping to move their children from the school too.

Late Tuesday, the Nassau County Sheriff's Office confirmed they are now involved in the probe into Yulee Primary School after DCF requested assistance.


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