The Role of Schools In Child Sexual Abuse


School systems have been in the media way too often in recent years for lawsuits filed against them for the sexual harming of students by their teachers and other school staff members. Reports of sexual abuse occurring at schools in California and the rest of the nation are increasing at an alarming rate.

Schools are social institutions outside their family with which nearly all children have consistent, ongoing contact. As such, it is imperative to identify endangered children, including those who have been sexually harmed.

When a child is sexually abused or harmed in school, the perpetrator can be criminally liable. The school system that hired the perpetrator can also be civilly liable to the victim

Holding the School District Liable

Every child is required by law to receive an education. This means that most parents have very little choice but to put their trust in public school districts whose employees essentially act as “substitute parents” throughout the school day. This is a very big responsibility that carries with it the duty of school district administrators to supervise their teachers and staff and provide a safe environment for the children that is free from any type of abuse.

Under California law, and the laws of most other states, public school districts may not be directly civilly liable for damages caused by the illegal acts of their employees, including sexual abuse and harm. However, a 2012 California Supreme Court held that school administrators have a duty to protect students from harm, which includes the school district to exercise great care when hiring, supervising and firing school staff members. The Court further held that if a school district hires a known child molester or fails to provide adequate training, supervision, or termination when face with ongoing sexual misconduct, the district can be held civilly liable to the victim.

Call Us

If you suspect that your child or a loved one has been abused or sexually harmed while in school, you should immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.

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