What if you learned that your child had a 1 in 10 chance of being sexually assaulted today? Unfortunately, if your child attends school, that’s almost the likelihood that he or she could end up victimized by a teacher, coach, or another school official. If your teenager become a victim, who can you hold responsible?
What Did School Officials Know?
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for school officials to be aware of sexual activity between teachers and students, especially at the high-school level. Often, the problem is that allegations won’t be backed by evidence. Rather than risk an open investigation, bad press, and potential lawsuits, schools have agreed to remain silent while allowing teachers who are accused of sexual abuse to move on to other districts where their reputation is unknown.
For educators who are engaging in sexual activity with their students, this allows them an opportunity to not only escape responsibility for their past actions but to start the same predatory behavior over again.
When seeking to hold a school district responsible for the actions of one of its teachers or other employees, the question that often has to be answered is, “What did the school know about the abuse?”
If there’s an indication that the school knew that there was likely abuse going on, the school system might be liable in a personal injury case, despite certain general protections that are usually in place to keep a school out of such lawsuits.
How Severe Was The Negligence?
In some states, in order to succeed in a lawsuit against a public school, you have to defeat a certain immunity that’s extended to the school as a part of the local government. Similar protections don’t usually exist for private schools, however.
Because the laws vary widely and are constantly in flux, an attorney in your jurisdiction is going to be in the best position to advise you about how hard it is to sue your school district. A local attorney is also going to be aware of any special filing restrictions or requirements that have to be met.
No matter what, a successful case is going to have to prove that the school was severely negligent in its supervision of its employee, the child or children involved, or the situation. That may include things like allowing the teacher to keep a locked classroom or allowing the teacher to take one or two of the children with him or her on “special” outings.
In cases involving teens, a successful case may hinge on whether or not this is the first and only incident or whether there were other students who were abused over time. If suspicions were raised by other staff members or a teacher was shuffled to another district in order to avoid “further problems,” you could very well have a case against the school district due to its negligent supervision.
If your teen was sexually abused by a teacher, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case against both the teacher involved and the school system. For more information, contact Morales Law or a similar firm.more info
Working with a lawyer can be very confusing. There is a whole different vocabulary that lawyers use. This is why it is important that if you are working with a lawyer you know what certain terms mean so that you can understand the process. Here are some important legal terms that you need to know.
Civil Court vs. Criminal Court
There are multiple kinds of courts in the United States, but two of the most common are civil and criminal. Many people think that these kinds of courts are the same but they are totally different and even have different rules.
Civil court is when two citizens get in a dispute and try to solve it through the legal system. For instance, if you are sued by your neighbor for building something on their property, they could sue you to civil court. In this case the plaintiff and the defendant are both citizens.
Criminal court is when the state presses charges against someone for a crime. In this case the persecutor is the state, and the defendant is the person that was charged with a crime.
In some cases you could be in civil and criminal court for the same incident. For example, if you were in a car accident while driving under the influence, you could be charge by the state with a DUI and reckless driving. You could also be sued by the family of the injured party for damages and emotional pain and suffering.
An appeal is the process by which you can ask the courts to review their decision against you. This means that if you lost a case, whether in civil or criminal court you can file an appeal. This means that the courts will look at your case and decide if the judgment was correct or false.
The appeal process can be expensive, but if you really believe that the judgment against you was wrong, it might be worth filing an appeal.
Summary judgment is when you ask the judge to make a decision on your case based on the evidence presented and avoid a trial. This can help to speed up the process as well as get a quick answer. Most people are only granted summary judgment if it is a cut and dry case or the evidence is pretty clear as to where the fault lies.
By understanding some important legal terms you can be ready to talk to local lawyers through resources like McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C.more info