According to CBS Local, a teacher and lacrosse coach at Reservoir High School has been charged with sexual assault.
Stephanie Walzl was charged for sexually abusing a minor. She was arrested after engaging inappropriately with a female student. An investigation began following the reports; it was released that the relationship started in December 2019 with her 16-year-old student.
Walzl has been placed on administrative leave and faces charges of the sexual abuse of a minor and fourth-degree sexual offense.
Attorney Commentator Aaron Blank, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, has represented numerous victims in teacher-student sex abuse cases. In an interview, we ask Aaron to share his insight on the legal options of victims sexually abused by a teacher and their options to receive compensation.
Do schools have an obligation to protect their students?
“Across the country, we have seen cases of teachers sexually abusing students. Schools must implement safety measures to ensure the safety of their students against predators. Examples of safety measures are extensive background checks, security cameras, or easy reporting systems.”
Can a school be held liable for a teacher sexually abusing a student?
“A school can be held liable for sexual abuse if it is considered negligent. If schools do not implement safety measures or ignore students’ reports, a school can be considered negligent. Victims of sexual abuse should contact a sexual assault lawyer and discuss their legal options. If their lawyer can prove that the sexual abuse occurred due to negligence on behalf of the school, the victim and their family could receive compensation for damages.”