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Can You Sue a School For Sexual Abuse of a Student by an Employee?

Are you struggling with any of the following questions after you or your child was sexually abused at school?

  • Can I sue my child’s school for sexual abuse?
  • Can public schools be sued for abuse by teachers?
  • Can schools be held liable for abuse by other students?
  • What compensation could I recover in a lawsuit?
  • How can a lawyer help our family?

You can find the answers to these and other questions in a free consultation with a dedicated sex abuse victims lawyers. We at the Legal Herald can refer you to a local lawyer near you.

They connected us with lawyers who were there to help us hold our child’s school accountable for the abuse he suffered. - Harvey Z.

Sexual abuse in schools is a crisis plaguing all 50 states, as there have been widespread reports of students who have been sexually abused by teachers, coaches, and other school staff members. When a child comes forward to report sexual abuse by a school employee, there are many questions that must be answered – including whether the school was negligent in their failure to prevent sexual abuse. In cases involving negligence. In cases of school negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a sexual abuse lawsuit.

Who Can Be Held Liable For School Sex Abuse?

When a teacher, coach, counselor, or another school staff member is reported for sexually abusing students, it’s important to investigate both the accused staff member and the school itself. It goes without saying that predatory school employees must be held accountable for the crimes and the trauma they’ve caused.

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Additionally, school officials have a legal duty to do everything in their power to protect their students from sexual predators. Schools that fail to do so may be considered negligent and could face liability if the victims and their families file a civil school sex abuse lawsuit.

If negligence is involved, schools can be held liable for abuse of students by any adult on the school’s property, including:

  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Guidance counselors
  • School nurses
  • School officials
  • Visitors to the school
  • Bus drivers
  • After-school program employees and volunteers
  • Janitors and custodians

Common Types of Negligence in School Sex Abuse Cases

While not all cases of school employee sexual abuse are preventable, there are many that may not have occurred if not for negligence by school officials who failed in their legal duty to protect their students.

There are certain preventative measures that can greatly reduce the risk of students being sexually abused by school staff members, such as:

  • Running thorough background checks before hiring all employees to ensure no one with a history of sexual misconduct is hired.
  • Policies that forbid teachers and students from being alone behind closed doors.
  • Policies to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct to law enforcement.
  • Investigating allegations of inappropriate or suspicious behavior by school staff members (such as flirting, sexual comments, etc.)
  • Training employees to notice and report inappropriate or suspicious behavior (such as grooming) towards students by colleagues.

Proving negligence is a complicated process that will require a thorough investigation by an attorney who is experienced in representing victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, we advise contacting an experienced sex abuse victims lawyers to learn more about your family’s legal options in a free consultation. We at the Legal Herald can help refer you to a local lawyer.

Can Schools Be Held Liable For Sexual Abuse of Students by Classmates?

Schools also have a legal duty to make sure students are safe from all forms of abuse by other students. In cases of student-on-student sexual abuse, it’s also important to investigate the circumstances of abuse for possible negligence by school officials.

For example, if there had been previous reports of sexual misconduct by a student and those reports were ignored, the school could be held liable if that student sexually abuses a classmate.

ublic School Sex Abuse Lawsuits

In cases of sexual abuse by public school employees, the school district can be held liable if negligence by school officials enabled the abuse to happen.

Liability For Sexual Abuse by School Staff Members Who Work For Third Parties

If the staff member who abused the student was not an employee of the school, but a third party, then that third party could be held liable if their negligence played a role in the abuse.

For example, if a bus driver who worked for a third-party bus company abused a student on their bus, that bus company could be held liable if negligence was involved – such as hiring a bus driver without running a background check that would have shown a criminal record for sexual offenses.

Lawsuits For Sexual Abuse in Private Schools

Sexual abuse of students by school employees is not only a problem in public schools but in private and boarding schools as well. In these cases, the private school can be sued directly by students and their parents if negligence by the school was a factor in the abuse.

Lawsuits For Sexual Abuse at Daycares and Preschools

For daycares and preschools, the safety of the children under their watch must be the number one priority. Like schools, these childcare facilities have a legal duty to reduce the risk of abuse as much as possible. If daycare of preschool negligence is to blame for sexual abuse of daycare children by employees, the facility can be sued by the parents of the victims.

Learn More About Your Legal Options as a School Sex Abuse Victim

If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, counselor, or another school employee, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. You can learn more about your legal options, including a possible lawsuit against the school, by contacting a local, experienced sex abuse victims lawyers for a free consultation. Contact us at the Legal Herald if you would like a referral to an experienced firm near you.

About the Author
Paul
About Paul
Editor: Paul is a staff editor who focuses on bringing you the most important legal news regarding cases of sexual assault, drunk driving, and preventable violence. Contact Paul: [email protected] This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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