Police Arrest East Mills Art Teacher & Track Coach For Sexual Abuse
Police in Mills County arrested a 39-year-old art teacher and track coach who has been accused of sexually abusing a student on multiple occasions. On August 21, Christopher Irvin was arrested and charged with felony third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse by a school employee. Irvin works at the East Mills School District as an elementary school art teacher, the head cross-country coach, and an assistant track coach.
A minor girl says that Irwin groped her earlier this summer and sexually abused her in a separate incident this April. According to the criminal complaints, these incidents did not occur on school district property.
Is Sexual Abuse by Teachers a Growing Problem?
Schools are supposed to be enriching environments where our kids can learn, grow, and build a better future. But unfortunately, some of the educators we trust to help our kids develop into well-rounded adults exploit this trust and abuse their students.
According to a study by Magnolia Consulting, approximately 1 in 10 students will experience school employee sexual misconduct by the time of their high school graduation. This study also found that on average, a teacher will be transferred to three different schools before they are reported to the police. This shows a troubling pattern of schools attempting to sweep these cases under the rug instead of holding these sexual predators accountable for their crimes. The report also found that 1 in 3 offenders had multiple victims.
Legal Options for Survivors of School Employee Sexual Abuse
Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com has represented countless survivors of sexual abuse. Here is his perspective on liability in cases involving sexual abuse by school employees:
Clearly, school employees (and anyone else) who sexually abuse students are dangerous sexual predators who must be arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated. But in school sexual abuse cases, it’s also important to ask if the school’s negligence enabled the crimes to occur. Our schools have a legal obligation to students and their parents to keep the students under their watch safe. In cases where the school failed to prevent sexual abuse because of negligence, the victims and their families could have grounds for a lawsuit against the district.
Some common forms of negligence in school sexual abuse cases include:
- Failing to run a background check and hiring a teacher with a history of sexual misconduct
- Allowing an accused teacher to resign or transferring them to a different school
- Failure to report allegations of sexual abuse to the police
If your family is looking for answers after your child was sexually abused by a school employee, it’s important to understand that the civil court system can help you. We highly advise discussing your case with an experienced sexual abuse victim lawyer in order to better understand your legal options.
Location of East Mills Elementary School