Three Howard School employees have been suspended for failure to report alleged child abuse.

Band director Dexter Bell, counselor Jenny Smith and teacher Amelia James have been suspended pending investigation, Hamilton County School System spokeswoman Amy Katcher said via email.


Law enforcement and the Department of Children’s Services have been notified, and there is no other information available at this time, she also said.

Tennessee state law mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse has to report it.

Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to three months’ imprisonment, a fine or both, according to the state’s Department of Children’s Services website.

“Those who report and ‘act in good faith’ are immune from any civil or criminal chargeswhich may result,” also according to the website. “The reporter has the right to remain confidential and anonymous.”