When teacher sexual misconduct occurs at school, federal laws allow parents to hold schools accountable in District Court.
Filing Legal Actions for Teacher Sexual Misconduct
Under federal law Title IX, public schools that receive federal funding can face legal actions for teacher sexual misconduct. If a child is sexually abused at school by a teacher, school employee, or fellow student, parents may file a lawsuit with a school sexual abuse lawyer holding the school accountable in District Court.
Schools are required to protect students while they are on school premises. This includes protection against physical violence and assaults, verbal abuse from harassment and intimidation, and sexual misconduct and abuse. The Educational Amendments Act of 1972 established Title IX, which has since been expanded to include protection for victims of sexual misconduct and abuse that occurs in schools. Although schools are aware of duties to protect students, school officials often fail to recognize cases of student sexual abuse or fail to take action against school teachers or staff members who are accused of sexual misconduct.
In K-12 schools, sexual misconduct is a growing problem. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 17,000 official reports of sexual abuse and assaults at schools across the country. Reports included sexual misconduct by teachers and school staff. Most states have policies regarding sex education for students, but less than half require teachers to teach students about the meaning of sexual consent. While many public school districts consider the middle school as an appropriate age to begin teaching sex education, some health experts advocate for earlier learning.
Federally funded schools subject to Title IX regulations must make sure teachers and administrators clearly understand student protections under the law. When incidents of teacher sexual misconduct or abuse occur on school grounds, they should be reported immediately to proper authorities and handled appropriately according to regulations. Although federal laws only apply to federally funded schools, parents of sexually abused children in other independent and privately-funded schools can seek legal advice through a school sexual abuse lawyer in their area.
In some cases, personal injury lawsuits may be filed against a school-based on negligence. In Nevada, schools may be held liable for harm to students caused by negligence or omissions of teachers and school employees. Under Nevada laws, schools can be held liable for negligent student supervision that leads to sexual misconduct or injury of a student while on school premises.