Counselor denies failure to report suspected child abuse

Updated:

An elementary school counselor faces charges after police say she failed to promptly report suspected abuse involving a 5-year-old student. That counselor is also a city councilwoman.

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - An elementary school counselor faces charges after police say she failed to promptly report suspected abuse involving a 5-year-old student. That counselor is also a city councilwoman.

Channel 2's Tom Jones was in Clayton County Court, where the counselor's attorney says she did nothing wrong.

While the school system continues to investigate this case, attorney Keith Martin is very upset about the arrest of counselor Cynthia Stamps Jones.

He says she did her best to report the suspected abuse and it's not her fault  the Division of Family and Children Services wouldn't pick up the phone.

"This like I see  my neighbor's house on fire. I call the fire department. They don't come. You charge me with arson," explained defense attorney Keith Martin.

Martin says there's no way Jones, a Martin Luther King Elementary School counselor, should have been arrested.

Jones is also a Riverdale councilwoman.

Clayton County police say Jones failed to report to authorities within 24 hours as mandated by law that a 5-year-old student had bruising on both sides of his face when he came to school.

Police admit she took pictures of the bruises and called Division of Family  and Children Services, but didn't reach anyone.

The school system says Jones needed to do more than call.

"You have to talk to somebody," said Vicki Gavalas, of Clayton County Public Schools.

But Jones' attorney says she did everything in her power to contact DFCS, calling the agency repeatedly.

"She did on the morning of the 8th, the afternoon of the 8th, the morning of the 9th, and ultimately she called police on the morning of the 10th," said Martin.

Martin says she contacted her superiors, and even called the school board office to see if there was another number to call.

"It's unjust and this woman did everything that she was required to do under the law and school systems protocols," said Martin.



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