A teacher at Bladensburg High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland has been accused of sexually abusing a student. 29-year-old Thomas Barber is charged with sexual abuse of a minor and police say he has admitted to sexually abusing a female student.
According to the police, the 17-year-old student reported the abuse herself and told investigators that it occurred both on and off school property, beginning at the start of the current school year.
Barber was also an assistant coach for the school’s junior varsity girls’ volleyball team. He has been fired following the allegations.
Police are not aware of any other victims, but have asked anyone with related information to call the Child and Vulnerable Adult Unit at (301) 772-4930.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked Aaron to add a few of his thoughts on the options for legal recourse available to school sex abuse victims and their families, and those looking for a school sexual abuse lawyer:
Teachers and other professionals who work with children are trusted by their communities. Our schools must make sure that teachers and other employees are worthy of this trust. Sadly, sexual predators are often found in schools, where they’ll have the opportunity to abuse students. New employees must be thoroughly screened with background checks and schools should have safeguards in place for preventing abuse.
When a teacher is charged with sexually abusing a student, the school should also be investigated to determine if any form of negligence played a role in enabling the abuse. For example, a school district could be considered negligent if the teacher had a history of sexual misconduct allegations but was hired anyway.
In cases of negligence, victims of sexual abuse by school employees may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a teacher or another school employee, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our sex abuse victims lawyers.