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.Share