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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

School has started back and our children return with a litany of things that have transpired during the summer: vacations with relatives, grandparents, cousins and parents. We must understand that events may have taken place that may affect the welfare of our kids, some good and, unfortunately, some not so good. Our kids may choose to share those events with someone they trust and many times those persons are the teachers, custodians, caretakers or anyone who is charged with the care and welfare of our children.

I have worked in law enforcement as a lead domestic violence detective and as a children's justice coordinator and interim director of the Pinal County Attorney's Office Family Advocacy Center in Eloy. I have conducted training and informed persons, organizations and school officials on mandated reporting of child abuse. This training makes those persons aware of their lawful obligation to report child abuse. I therefore urge each of you who are trusted with those responsibilities to listen — really listen.

Jerry Smith, EdD

Coolidge

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