School Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sending our children off to school should come with the assurance that they will receive an education in a safe and nurturing environment. However, the recent revelation of sexual abuse cases involving teachers and coaches has shaken this trust to its core. The shock and devastation a parent experiences upon discovering that their child has fallen victim to such abuse are immeasurable, often resulting in the need for years of psychological and emotional therapy for the survivor to begin healing.Sexual Assault in School: More Common Than You Think
It's easy to assume that cases of sexual assault by educators are rare occurrences, leading many to believe that they need not worry about the safety of their children in school. However, a comprehensive national review of teacher discipline data conducted by USA Today has exposed a troubling reality. This esteemed news publication delved into educator misconduct and licensure databases across all fifty states, scrutinizing countless pages of employment records and court filings. The findings were profoundly disturbing.
USA Today uncovered systemic failures in safeguarding the welfare of students. Shockingly, education agencies across the nation routinely disregarded a federal ban on signing agreements with teachers suspected of abuse. These so-called "secrecy deals" involved contracts that prevented the disclosure of any information related to sexual abuse or assault by a teacher in exchange for the teacher quietly resigning. These agreements facilitated the relocation of sexually abusive teachers to different school districts or other child-centric work environments, such as daycare centers, where they continued to work with children.
The investigation by USA Today also revealed that many schools failed to conduct basic background checks, leading to situations where registered sex offenders were unknowingly hired. For example, a private high school in Louisiana hired a teacher who was a registered sex offender in Texas. Students at the school stumbled upon this disturbing information through a simple Google search.
Moreover, the study found that school administrators rarely faced penalties from state licensing officials for failing to report a teacher's resignation amid documented problems at their school. This is particularly concerning considering forty-one states have laws mandating school administrators to report teacher dismissals or resignations to state authorities. Regrettably, violations of these laws seldom result in any form of punishment or sanction.Abusive Teachers Secure New Employment
One might assume that being accused of sexual assault or abuse would permanently tarnish a person's reputation and hinder their ability to find new employment. Surprisingly, this is not the case for teachers. Many individuals terminated after allegations of abusive behavior encounter little difficulty securing new positions. For example, a teacher in New Jersey who sexually assaulted several elementary school students had a history of prior sexual abuse in a different school district. Similar patterns emerge in cases such as that of an Oregon substitute teacher who inappropriately touched a student and an Illinois teacher who forced students to eat food from his crotch.Escalating Incidents of Sexual Abuse and Assault
The incidence of sexual abuse and assault cases in schools appears to be on the rise. In 2014, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing initiated nearly 330 investigations into teachers accused of sexual crimes against children. This number more than doubled the count from 2008-2009. Similar increases have been observed in other states. For instance, Texas reported a 27 percent surge in investigations of alleged inappropriate teacher-student relationships. In Alabama, the state investigated 31 sexual abuse cases in 2013, nearly triple the number from just four years earlier in 2009.Taking Legal Action
If you or your child has fallen victim to sexual abuse by a teacher or coach, it is imperative to take action and not allow the abuser to go unpunished. Survivors of sexual assault may be eligible to file civil legal claims against the responsible party or parties, including entities other than the abuser. In California, for instance, an employer can be held liable for an employee's harmful actions if there is evidence that the employer failed to investigate prior complaints or check the perpetrator's references. This type of claim is known as "negligent hiring."Negligent Hiring Lawsuits Against Schools
When a school hires a teacher who subsequently engages in abusive behavior, it is often indicative of the school's failure to exercise due diligence in conducting background checks and verifying references. If such negligence is evident, a lawyer may pursue a claim against the school for negligent hiring. Negligent hiring lawsuits are filed by individuals who assert that they have suffered harm due to an employee, and the employee's propensity to cause harm was either known or should have been known by the employer.Recoverable Damages in School Sexual Assault Cases
Quantifying the harm caused by sexual abuse or molestation, especially when it occurs at a young age, is an arduous task. The repercussions of sexual abuse can be so traumatic that they have lifelong effects on the victim. Survivors may experience reduced social engagement, difficulty forming healthy relationships in adulthood, increased reliance on substances like drugs or alcohol, depression, and even an elevated risk of suicide. When you hire a lawyer to represent you in a school sexual assault case, a primary objective is to effectively communicate the extent of the harm to the defense counsel and potentially to a jury.
In a video report, CBS SF Bay Area highlighted a lawsuit alleging that the San Jose Union School District failed to protect students from a sexual predator.Sacramento Sexual Abuse Attorney
If you or someone you care deeply about has experienced the traumatic effects of sexual abuse, we urge you to reach out to our dedicated Sacramento Sexual Abuse Lawyers at AutoAccident.com. We offer compassionate support, guidance, and legal expertise during this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to contact our law firm at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for a confidential and no-obligation consultation. Your well-being and seeking justice are our top priorities, and we are committed to providing you with the assistance and advice you need.
Editor's Note: updated 11.3.23 Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay sb bw