As a parent, you should never have to worry about your child’s safety when you drop them off at school in the morning. You should have the right to assume that the people hired to teach your children will always have their best interests in mind. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of teachers working in the United States that use their authority to prey on vulnerable students. Alarmingly, in a 2004 survey, it was reported that 10% of US public school students have felt sexually targeted by a school employee. Sexual assault, abuse, and sexual harassment claims against teachers is said to be 100 times greater than those against Catholic priests, according to several sources.
In one such case, a Pennsylvania high school student sued the Susquehanna Township School District on the claim that she was sexually assaulted by her driver’s education teacher. The accuser reported the assault to the proper authorities, and the school responded with “deliberate indifference.”
The teacher, Mr. Frank, had frequently violated the policy which forbids behind-the-wheel driving instruction for one student at a time, and was also accused of asking to see another female student’s private piercing. He had reportedly been warned to correct this behavior, but no further investigation was conducted to confirm his obedience.
After filing charges against Frank, the accuser claims to have been retaliated against by the school’s students and faculty members. Students wore shirts supporting Frank, and the high-school’s principal, Kermit Leitner, sent a letter to district employees fundraising for Frank’s defense. The accuser dropped out of school for home instruction shortly after filing charges.
Not only did the school act negligently by not monitoring Frank’s behavior after multiple violations, but also in their response to the charges made by the accuser. The district obviously knew that Frank conducted himself inappropriately around students and didn’t do enough to correct his behavior. Furthermore, during the investigation, it was found that the district failed to appoint a Title IX coordinator—a district employee designated to handle all sexual assault and discrimination cases, and oversee the policies of all schools within their district. In the end, The Susquehanna Township School District paid $600,000 to settle the case.
If your child has been sexually targeted by someone at their school, you can help protect their rights by consulting with an Arizona Personal Injury attorney. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can better understand your situation and best decide how you would like to proceed. JacksonWhite attorney, Jared Everton, has successfully represented victims of sexual assault. Call (480)-648-8928 to schedule a FREE consultation.