1. The office of the child advocate as created in section 37.705 shall be authorized to coordinate mediation efforts between school districts and students and charter schools and students when requested by both parties when allegations of child abuse arise in a school setting. The office of the child advocate shall maintain a list of individuals who are qualified mediators. The child advocate shall be available as one of the mediators on the list from which parents can choose.
2. Mediation procedures shall meet the following requirements:
Terms Used In Missouri Laws 160.262
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
- State: when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020
(1) The mediation process shall not be used to deny or delay any other complaint process available to the parties; and
(2) The mediation process shall be conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator trained in effective mediation techniques who is not affiliated with schools or school professional associations, is not a mandated reporter of child abuse under state law or regulation, and who is available as a public service.
3. No student, parent of a student, school employee, charter school, or school district shall be required to participate in mediation under this section. If either the school district or charter school or the student or student’s parent does not wish to enter into mediation, mediation shall not occur.
4. Each session in the mediation process shall be scheduled in a timely manner and be held in a location that is convenient to the parties in dispute.
5. Discussions that occur during the mediation process shall be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent administrative proceeding, administrative hearing, nor in any civil or criminal proceeding of any state or federal court.
6. If the parties resolve a dispute through the mediation process, the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution and:
(1) States that all discussions that occurred during the mediation process shall remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent administrative proceeding, administrative hearing, or civil proceeding of any federal or state court; and
(2) Is signed by a representative of each party who has authority to bind the party.