Lawyer Comments: In the second section of this story, sex abuse victim lawyer Reed Martens discusses a common question for victims: are schools liable in sexual abuse lawsuits?
Former Wichita Collegiate School teacher Rodney Wren was arrested in February for allegedly sexually abusing a former student. The 39-year-old faces three counts of unlawful sexual relations with a student 16 or older.
The former student reported the alleged sexual abuse to police in January. She is 21 years old now, but the alleged abuse happened in May, June, and August of 2015.
Wren was a teacher and debate coach at Wichita Collegiate before his arrest. He had been employed there since 2008 but was placed on administrative leave after the school learned of the investigation. He was fired after his arrest.
Wren was also a city council candidate for Wichita City Council's District 2.
Attorney contributor Reed Martens represents student sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits and has offered to share some of his thoughts on the legal rights of these victims and their families:
In education and all other fields where adults are working with children, preventative measures must be in place to make sure those children are safe. Tragically, sexual predators are often found working as teachers and other school employees. Our sex abuse victim lawyers have seen too many cases of teachers being charged with sexually abusing students.
School officials have a legal obligation to make sure their students are safe from sexual predators. When a teacher is arrested on sex crime charges involving a student, both the teacher and the school should be investigated. Along with the criminal investigation of the teacher, it's important to investigate whether the abuse could have been prevented or if the school enabled the abuse through negligence.
If school negligence was a factor, the victim and their family may have grounds for a lawsuit. For example, the school could be considered negligent if others had complained of inappropriate behavior by the teacher in the past, but those complaints were ignored.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a teacher, you can learn more about your legal rights, you can learn more about your family's legal options by discussing your case with one of our experienced sexual abuse victim lawyers.