According to the Miami Herald, a teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a student while teaching at Hialeah Middle Community School located at 6027 E 7th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33013.
On Monday, October 4, 2021, 31-year-old Brittiny Lopez-Murray was arrested and charged with multiple felonies including lewd and lascivious battery, molestation, and engaging in a sexual act with a child. The victim was a former student at the middle school where she taught drama for the past four years. Lopez-Murray was awarded rookie teacher of the year in 2017.
The report stated that Lopez-Murray began texting the victim, and then they would meet up for sexual encounters at multiple locations. The victim's sister and father found inappropriate texts and images on the victim's phone sent from the suspect.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard is a sexual abuse lawyer who represents victims of sexual abuse in Florida. He has represented numerous victims sexually abused by a teacher. Below, Michael shared his insight on the legal rights of victims of sexual abuse to help them determine their rights.
“Schools have a responsibility to provide the highest level of protection to their students. Too often, sexual predators gain employment within schools and use their positions of power and trust to victimize students. To ensure the safety of students and help prevent sexual assault, schools must implement adequate safety measures. Examples of safety measures are efficient misconduct reporting systems, security cameras, but more importantly, conducting background checks on all staff and teachers.”
“If schools fail to provide proper security for their students, they could be considered liable in sexual misconduct cases that occur. Many times crimes, like sexual abuse happen due to the negligence of a third party. This could include if previous instances of misconduct were known about but ignored. Victims are encouraged to secure the services of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to determine whether their case involves negligence. In some cases, the victim would have grounds for a civil lawsuit and potentially receive compensation for the damages.”