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September 10th, 2012

The Problem of Sex Abuse in Schools Begins with the School Itself

The Problem of Sex Abuse in Schools Begins with the School Itself

In a situation remarkably similar to the Penn State Sex abuse scandal, an Illinois school district is facing allegations that it failed to report sex abuse by one of its high school teachers. A janitor of an Illinois high school alleges he told his supervisor that he saw a high school band teacher with a student in what is best described as a sexual situation. The janitor alleges that he was locking up when he heard giggling coming from a dark room, lit only by the hallway lights. When he peered inside, he saw the teacher with his hands on the student.

In response, the school district conducted an investigation and did nothing, basically taking the position that they did not have credible evidence that anything sexual had occurred. However, later that same year, the same teacher was again seen with a student. Only then, did the school district call the police immediately.

These allegations, if true, demonstrate that sexual abuse is extraordinarily pervasive, especially in school settings. These kinds of allegations reveal that a school will often take drastic, immoral measures to protect itself, usually at the cost of its own students.

Sex abuse is often perpetrated by different kinds of school employees, such as:

  • teachers,
  • substitute teachers,
  • coaches,
  • janitors,
  • principals, and
  • even other students.

In addition, sex abuse occurs in day care centers, before and after school programs/centers, and youth organizations, like the Boy Scouts.

Negligence in a School Sex Abuse Case

Like Pennsylvania, Illinois has mandatory sex abuse reporting laws. Schools which fail to report sex abuse certainly open themselves up to liability. However, additional claims of negligence stem from a school’s failure to have a policy pertaining to reporting of suspected sex abuse or failure to take action to investigate and remove sexual predators.

School employees who abuse children often abuse more than one child and will keep committing abuse until he or she is stopped. Sex abuse in schools ends with proper training of all staff regarding reporting sexual abuse. From janitors to principals and students as well, all those in a school setting must be clear that sex abuse will not be tolerated and must be reported. Schools which take matters into their own hands and attempt to conduct an investigation, without calling the police, certainly open themselves up to liability when the suspected teacher continues to abuse others.

For more information, contact a civil sex abuse lawyer who handles school sex abuse cases.

More School Sex Abuse Articles:

School Sex Abuse Lawyer in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan handles school sex abuse cases in the Northeast area with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  Attorneys at the firm are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition, the firm has the resources and experience to handle school sex abuse cases in all states and welcomes calls from local counsel about potential cases. Click To Call

Published: September 10, 2012

Source: www.articles.chicagotribune.com. “DCFS: West Aurora school officials broke law by not reporting suspected abuse”, Sept. 5, 2012