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April 15th, 2014

A Recent Teacher Sex Abuse Case at a PA Elementary School

Pennsylvania Elementary School Teacher Charged with Sexually Abusing Young Students (March 2014)

A Delaware County, Pennsylvania elementary school teacher has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with young girls over the course of several years. He was a teacher at Darby Township School, in Delaware County. Darby Township School is located a few miles north of Philadelphia International Airport. Delaware County is located just outside of Philadelphia. Major townships in Delaware County include Media, Lansdowne, Drexel Hill and Upper Darby.

Related: Civil Liability in School Sex Abuse Cases – What Claims are Usually Made

According to multiple news reports, the teacher was originally charged with touching three 7-year-old girls. One of the cases was alleged to have occurred this year. Since then, five more students have come forward to report similar conduct. Previously, the teacher worked at the Radnor Township School District.

At least one of his alleged victims has indicated that she reported the conduct roughly 8 years ago to a school guidance counselor when she was only 10 years old and in the fifth grade. The school counselor suggested that the allegations could ruin the teacher’s career. At a subsequent meeting, the girl, scarred and feeling guilty, denied that the abuse had occurred.

Why Schools Fail to Take Action After a Report of Sex Abuse by a Teacher

There are two factors which explain why schools fail to report sexual abuse by fellow school employees: 1. self-preservation and 2. lack of training. Self-preservation is an incredibly strong instinct and usually prevents a school employee from acting appropriately after receiving a report of sexual abuse of a student by another school employee. Essentially, the school employee fears getting involved with the police and having to relay the report to law enforcement.

In addition, before the Jerry Sandusky Penn State school sex abuse scandal broke two years ago, most schools simply did not have sufficient student sex abuse reporting policies and procedures in place to provide a clear method for dealing with reports of sex abuse.  If such policies even did exist, school employees were often untrained about those policies and were left on their own in terms of how to deal with reports of sex abuse by school employees.

Sex abuse within a school setting is a serious problem. When school employees fail to take student sex abuse reports seriously, they are inadvertently perpetuating the cycle of abuse. The sex abuser learns that their actions will be tolerated and will therefore be emboldened to abuse others.

In some cases, schools in Pennsylvania may be liable for failing to take appropriate steps to protect innocent students from sexually abusive school employees.


Philadelphia School Sex Abuse Lawyer

If your child was sexually abused in a school setting, please call our office to arrange for a free consultation. Firm founder, Guy D’Andrea, is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now represents victims of sex abuse in civil cases. Click To Call

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Sources: philly.com, Delco teacher charged with child sex assault; philadelphia.cbslocal.com, Girls Accuse Former 2nd-Grade Teacher of Sex Abuse in Delco