Pensacola Teacher Resigns Amid Sexual Assault Allegations
A Booker T. Washington High School teacher who has been charged with sexually assaulting several students has resigned from his position in the school district. The school board approved the resignation on Tuesday, February 17 during a weekly meeting.
30-year-old Mark Lua was arrested for a third time last week and charged with obscene communication and using a two-way device to facilitate a felony. This charge was filed after a former student of Lua’s at Ferry Pass Middle School came forward with allegations of sexual battery.
Lua was first arrested on January 17 amid allegations that he had a student send him sexually explicit videos. He was arrested a second time on January 30th on sexual assault charges after a student told authorities that she and Lua had sex at his home on Patch Lane. This victim was also Lua’s student at Ferry Pass Middle School.
Police say Lua created a fake Instagram profile, which he used to talk to students and have them send sexual photos.
Prior to his resignation, Lua had been suspended from the school district pending the outcome of the investigation.
Justice for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Teachers
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of sexual violence find the justice and financial compensation they need and deserve in civil cases. Here is his perspective on how the legal system can help these survivors find justice:
When students come forward with allegations of sexual abuse involving a school employee, there are several different concerns which need to be addressed. The teacher needs to be removed from the classroom, investigated, and prosecuted. The victims, their families, and other students must be provided with counseling and support. And finally, the school must be investigated to determine if their negligence allowed the abuse to happen.
For example, let’s say a school had received previous reports of sexual misconduct involving a teacher but did not respond to these reports by suspending the teacher or reporting the allegations to law enforcement. The school could be considered negligent for failing to keep their students safe and any victims of that teacher would likely have a strong case for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a teacher or another school employee, we understand how painful this time has been for your family and we want to help you demand accountability from your abuser and those who enabled them. You can learn more about your family’s legal options by discussing your case with a sexual abuse survivors attorney.