What is school sexual abuse?

We entrust teachers and other school employees with the instruction and protection of our children every day. However, an alarming number of public and private school students suffer sexual abuse by teachers, guidance counselors, school staff members, coaches, or even fellow students at school.

School sexual abuse can occur at any age, from pre-kindergarten through high school. Sexual predators often “test” and “groom” their victims in order to gain their trust and to eventually abuse. Perpetrators’ grooming often confuses victims, later making them feel too ashamed to come forward and report the abuse. Because so many cases of school sexual abuse go unreported, the total number of children sexually abused by teachers, coaches, school employees, and other students is unknown.

Public Schools

Child safety should be of utmost importance within public schools. Sadly, more and more public school teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff have made headlines for abusing students under their care. Too often, school administrator and teachers’ unions have concealed, minimized, or ignored abuse. The best antidotes to secrecy surrounding public school sexual abuse are prohibiting one-on-ones and creating public awareness and effective preventative measures, such as implementing thorough background screenings and abuse awareness training for teachers, parents and children. The bottom line is that even one student sexually abused is too many. Here at Crew Janci LLP, we represent victims of school sexual abuse, ensuring that schools do everything necessary to protect and offer students a safe learning environment.

Private Schools

Sexual abuse of children in private schools often involve religious institutions to other charitable organizations. Close-knit parochial or private schools often foster a belief amongst parents that “everybody knows everybody’, everyone is “watching out for each other’s kids”, and abuse “just doesn’t happen here”; but child sexual abuse can happen in any type of school – public or private. Unfortunately, the implemented trust and high morality of religious authorities, teachers and staff have in a private school often make it easier for a predator to be able to abuse. When victims speak out, the community often rallies around the trusted teacher or coach to the detriment of the victim. Sometimes, the child and their family are alienated, marginalized and don’t know where to turn. The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have successfully held private schools and other educational institutions accountable, forcing positive change in private schools. If you or your child was abused by a teacher, coach, staff member, or volunteer while attending a private school, contact our office today to discuss your options.

Boarding Schools

Children in boarding schools live in dormitories or residences on campus during the school session. Teachers, school administrators, and coaches become surrogate parents and often spend most of the day with these children and some will supervise the child at night. The additional access makes child sexual abuse even more likely to occur. Safe behind the walls of a respected institution, sexual predators may abuse dozens of students over an extended period of time. Because boarding school students spend most of their time away from their families and hometown friends, they are often less likely to report the abuse.

Parents who enroll their children in boarding schools place a great deal of trust and faith in an institution’s ability and willingness to protect their young from harm. Boarding schools can be held accountable when they fail to take adequate steps in protecting kids (like performing proper background checks, adopting appropriate prevention policies, or removing known sexual abusers in their midst). The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have successfully held boarding schools and other educational institutions accountable for failing to protect children in their care. Even if the abuse occurred years ago, there may still be a legal remedy. If you or your child was abused by a teacher, coach, staff member, or volunteer while attending a boarding school, contact our office today.

Foreign Exchange Programs

Although foreign exchange programs often offer new cultural experiences and opportunities for learning and new cultural experiences, the foreign exchange student is often placed in a position of extreme vulnerability. Foreign exchange students are often completely dependent on their host parents. Foreign exchange students may not speak the language and may not understand the culture or behavioral boundaries of the people with whom they are living. Unfortunately, some host families take advantage of the student’s cultural ignorance and defenselessness in order to sexually exploit them. Foreign exchange abuse victims often have the extra challenge of trying to determine their legal options in the United States when back in their home country. If you or someone you know has been victimized while participating in a foreign exchange program, email the office of Crew Janci LLP. We can set up a free telephone call or video conference and are happy to arrange a translator if necessary.

After-School and Day Care

Child day care is a vital service for any typical household. Working families rely upon day care facilities to provide a safe environment for their children. However, some day care facilities do not properly supervise children, do not screen potential employees or admit children with known behavioral problems that may pose a risk to other children. The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP help victims abused in Running Start, after school, and day care programs. If you or someone you love has been sexually abused in a day care or after school care facility, contact our offices today.

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The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP are all too familiar with the dynamics of abuse in private schools. We have successfully represented victims in public schools, private schools, boarding schools, foreign exchange programs, and similar educational settings. We understand the utmost importance of your child feeling safe in school. We advocate for survivors of school abuse. If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a teacher, guidance counselor, administrator, coach, or other school staff member, contact Crew Janci LLP today to speak with experienced attorneys who can help.

In 2010, attorneys from Crew Janci LLP were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in the landmark case of Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America, which involved claims for sexual abuse by a Scoutmaster in a Portland, Oregon, Scout Troop operated through a local Mormon (LDS) church. The trial lasted six weeks and garnered international press coverage, ultimately resulting in a jury award for the victim of compensatory and punitive damages which totaled $19 Million.

The centerpiece of the Kerry Lewis trial was BSA’s now infamous secret files on pedophiles in Scouting – known as the “Perversion Files” or “IV Files” (now publicly available through our website). The Secret Files were introduced into evidence at trial and, for the first time ever, made public. Since then, we have created and maintained a database of these files our website.

We continue to represented victims abused in Scouting across the country and abroad. If you or someone you love has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse in Scouting, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, contact the experienced attorneys at Crew Janci LLP today to determine your options.

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