Sexual Abuse victims are not alone and they have rights, if and when they are ready to pursue them. At Farmer Jaffe Weissing, we want to empower victims to come forward, report crimes and hold perpetrators accountable; thereby educating the community and inspiring others to do the same.
Unfortunately, sex abuse in schools is more common than you think. Child grooming by teachers and school employees can begin as early as pre-kindergarten and continue through high school. Sex abuse and sexual assault of children can occur in public schools, private schools, preparatory schools, church schools and even day care centers
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescence Psychiatry, child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal procedure for validating an episode is difficult.
A 2000 report, commissioned by the American Association of University Women suggests that about 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse during their school careers. If these numbers are representative of the student population nationwide, 4.5 million students currently in grades K-12 have suffered some form of sexual abuse by an educator, and more than 3 million have experienced sexual touching or assault.
Child victims who dare to come forward report unwanted sexual conduct including lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, sexual touching or grabbing, and sexual assault. Some of the high profile media coverage regarding teachers and school employees performing sexual acts on children, in addition the recent Penn State Scandal and conviction of pedophile Jerry Sandusky, include:
Their influence over young children and teenagers is enormous. Too often, these trusted adults use this power and trust to groom, sexually abuse and manipulate those they are entrusted to protect.
In another type of sexual abuse case recently reported involved dozens of high school foreign exchange students alleging they had been raped, sexually abused or harassed by their American host parents.
Also, sexual relationships between teachers and students in middle school or high school are wrong and illegal. Parents should look for texting and emails that are not related to classroom activities, monitor where their student meets their teachers (ex at teacher's home) and monitor any phone calls between the teacher and your child.
While some laws are in place to protect children from sexual assault by teachers and school officials, more needs to be done. Florida recently took that extra step when a West Palm Beach day-care director was arrested for allegedly failing to report suspected child abuse. It is believed to be the first in Palm Beach County since a new state law “Protection of Vulnerable Persons,” passed that hands out harsher punishment for those who ignore signs of abuse.
As in all sex abuse cases, public school abuse cases are complex and difficult. Schools can include, but are not limited to Silver Lakes Middle School, Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, South Broward High School, Flagler High School, Fort Lauderdale High School, Pompano Beach Charter High School, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and the University of Miami.
If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested, by a teachers, school counselor, coach, teachers aid, janitor, bus driver, contact our sexual abuse / victim’s rights attorneys to discuss your legal rights.