San Francisco School Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Fighting for Victims of Teacher Sex Abuse in the Bay Area
When we send our children to school – whether at a public, private, or charter institution – we have a right to expect that the teachers and other staff members will protect them from harm and cultivate a positive learning environment. While most teachers are highly dedicated and caring professionals, however, others may use their positions to commit egregious criminal acts against the vulnerable children in their care. In fact, a 2004 report made to the U.S. Department of Education uncovered that at least 1 in 10 children will endure sexual misconduct from a teacher, coach, or another school employee before their K-12 career is over.
To compound the problem, school districts do not always take appropriate action after discovering sexual misconduct. At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we’ve secured over $500 in record-breaking settlements and verdicts for victims of negligence and wrongdoing, and our compassionate legal team is available to help families affected by school sexual abuse in San Francisco.
As legal advocates with deep roots in the Bay Area, it’s our goal to hold educational institutions accountable when they fail students on such a profound level – and to ensure that no student ever has to suffer the same horrific experiences.
Contact our legal team at (415) 940-7176 today to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.
Understanding the Problem of School Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse and child molestation are serious crimes that can have lasting psychological consequences on victims, particularly when committed by a trusted mentor or educator. Although child sexual abuse is a widespread problem in the United States, this serious issue has not always gotten the attention that it deserves, and nowhere is that more evident than in our public and private K-12 school systems.
School sexual abuse can be committed by anyone, including:
- Bus drivers
- Athletic coaches
- School nurses and medical professionals
- Principals and administrative officials
- School counselors
- Maintenance workers and janitors
- Other students
As “mandatory reporters,” teachers, counselors, and other school officials are legally required to report suspected sexual abuse or assault to law enforcement. However, according to a 2014 federal report made to the Government Accountability Office, schools are routinely failing to report child sexual abuse when it does happen, leaving future students vulnerable to repeat offenders.
The report found that educational sexual abuse was often enabled or ignored due to the following:
- School district cover-ups to protect reputations
- Lack of training on how to handle sexual abuse, assault, and harassment cases
- Failure to perform adequate background checks
- Lack of understanding about rules on mandatory reporting
- Failure to revoke teaching credentials or take administrative action against offenders
- Failure to investigate parent and student complaints against a teacher
Because many educators do not know how to identify predatory and “grooming” behavior among their colleagues, some may also fail to even notice when sexual abuse takes place. However, many serial abusers have a clear pattern of complaints and prior disciplinary actions – which means schools have a responsibility to fully investigate each employee’s background, along with any reports or claims of current sexual abuse.
Who Is Liable for My Child’s Losses?
There’s little that can compensate for the staggering tragedy that is child sexual abuse, and when you discover that it has happened to your own child, you may not be sure how to proceed. While filing a lawsuit against the negligent school district and officials may be possible, it can come with many challenges, as well as a significantly shortened timeline for taking legal action.
When you work with our attorneys at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we will fight to ensure that your child and family receive the justice that you deserve. As San Francisco school sex abuse attorneys that have been serving the Bay Area since 1980, we have the resources, connections, and knowledge to litigate complex school misconduct cases.
Do you need to speak with an experienced lawyer? Give us a call at (415) 940-7176 or contact us online todayto schedule your free consultation.