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.
Public 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.