Traducir HáblanosÚltimas noticias

Seminario de Seguridad Negligente | Marzo 2015>

Abogados de lesiones personales de Florida

Hablar con un abogado 888.988.1774



    Cuánto es :

    Can Florida Schools Be Held Liable When Students are Sexually Abused?

    For K-12 students, schools should be places where they can learn, socialize, and develop into young adults without ever having to worry about their safety. Sadly, however, sexual abuse is alarmingly widespread in both public and private schools: according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, there were nearly 14,000 incidences of sexual violence during the 2017-18 school year, which represented a shocking 43% increase compared to 2015-16.

    Click here to speak with an attorney. We’re here to offer you the support you and your family need.

    In addition to a criminal case, incidents of child sexual abuse in Florida schools may also give rise to civil lawsuits, whether the abuse was committed by a teacher or other school employee, a fellow student, or a third party who accessed school property. For example, schools may be held liable on grounds including the following:

    • Negligent hiring or supervision. If a school hires someone with a history of criminal or sexual misconduct—which may have gone undetected due to inadequate background check procedures—the school may be civilly liable. Additionally, it may be liable if school employees were not properly supervised, thereby creating an opportunity for the abuse to take place.
    • Negligent security. Schools have a duty to ensure that the school grounds are properly secured in order to prevent trespassers from entering. Important security measures may also include surveillance cameras, alarms, and procedures to ensure that only authorized persons are allowed to pick children up from school.
    • Statutory grounds. Section 39.205 of the Florida Statutes imposes a duty on schools to investigate suspected acts of child abuse (including sexual abuse) and report incidences to the central abuse hotline. Schools that neglect this duty may be subject to a fine of up to $1 million for each failure, and individuals may be found guilty of a third-degree felony. Violations of these statutes may also form the basis for a civil lawsuit.
    • Title IX. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in certain cases, public school districts may be liable for financial damages under Title IX if students are sexually assaulted or harassed by other students. However, litigating these cases can be difficult because plaintiffs must show that the assault or harassment was objectively “offensive, pervasive, and severe” to the point that it prevented the victim from receiving an education, and that school officials were both aware of the abuse and acted with “deliberate indifference” when it came to their failure to intervene.

    While pursuing civil cases against schools that allowed sexual abuse to take place can be a complex and emotionally draining experience, it is an important step in ensuring that victims receive justice and that the authorities who permitted abusers to commit their acts will be properly penalized. It also acts to prevent future abuse of students by creating awareness of the weaknesses in the system and need for careful oversight to protect our children.

    At Leighton Law, our team has represented child sex abuse survivors for over 35 years, and we are particularly sensitive to the legal, emotional, and psychological issues that these cases present. We have won several high-profile cases, including a staggering $49.3 million verdict on behalf of a young student who was sexually abused by her teacher in a classroom. If you suspect that your child has been sexually abused at school, please call us at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation.


      Cuánto es :