School workers missed 1,100 days due to child welfare cases

Providence Schools offices. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Data released by the Providence school department shows two dozen employees placed on paid leave last year because of Department of Children, Youth and Families investigations missed more than 1,100 school days combined.

A day after it was reported that employees missed 278 days during pending investigations, WPRI-TV reported that nearly 900 additional days were missed by workers before they were permitted by the school department to return to work.

DCYF cleared nearly all employees of wrongdoing.

Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro says subsequent investigations by police and human resources are contributing to the absences.

Investigations can stem from allegations that an employee violated the mandatory reporting law.

Calabro told The Providence Journal many innocent teachers have been caught up in a “knee-jerk” reaction to the law.