647 Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect Involving Students in 20 Months

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An analysis has found Tennessee's Department of Children's Services investigated 647 allegations of child abuse or neglect involving students at more than 460 schools during a recent 20-month period.

Data obtained by USA Today's Tennessee Network showed DCS investigated claims at both public and private schools serving 74 of 95 Tennessee counties between January 2016 and August 2017. The agency did not provide investigations' outcomes.

The data indicates DCS investigated 373 allegations of physical abuse, 130 allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation, 97 allegations of children lacking supervision and 33 allegations of psychological abuse.

State education officials said they didn't know how frequently child welfare workers were called. Spokeswoman Sara Gast's response to the shared data noted that "school officials generally err on the side of caution" when making reports.

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