San Francisco Unified School District Settles Two Sexual Abuse Lawsuits for $4.5 million

Two sexual abuse lawsuits against the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) have been settled. The lawsuits involved allegations of sexual abuse by former George Washington High School athletic director Lawrence Young-Yet Chan towards two students, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.

According to the lawsuit, the abuse reportedly occurred on the school campus during school hours, in locations like Chan’s office, a locker room, and a stairwell. “School districts have a duty to protect their students and are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety,” attorney Lauren Cerri said.

The SFUSD board of trustees approved the settlement amount following agreements between the insurance carriers, the survivors, and the district. The settlement was reached to spare the survivors from having to retell their stories and to allow them to move forward and start rebuilding their lives.

News Coverage of the Settlement

This case highlights concerns about how educational institutions handle allegations of sexual misconduct and the potential risks of allowing accused individuals to quietly resign without facing appropriate consequences.

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has been sued multiple times for cases of sexual abuse. The lawsuits against SFUSD include instances of alleged abuse dating as far back as 1962 and as recent as 2017.

The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Students

The impact of sexual abuse on high school students can be profound, affecting various aspects of their lives:

1. Academic Performance: Sexual abuse has been linked to higher incidences of depression, anxiety, PTSD, low self-esteem, behavioral disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation, all of which can significantly impact a student’s academic performance.

2. Social Skills: Victims of sexual abuse may experience difficulties in developing and maintaining healthy relationships with peers due to the emotional and psychological effects of the abuse.

3. Emotional Well-being: Students who have been sexually abused may exhibit a range of emotional reactions such as anger, anxiety, depression, and withdrawal behavior, which can affect their overall emotional well-being and ability to cope with daily challenges.

4. Behavioral Issues: Sexual abuse can lead to behavioral changes in students, including poor decision-making, mood swings, and engaging in risky behaviors like substance abuse or early sexual activity.

5. Long-term Consequences: Child sexual abuse can have lasting effects on physical and mental health, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and difficulties in forming trusting relationships with adults.

Understanding the multifaceted impact of sexual abuse on high school students is essential for schools to provide appropriate support and interventions to help these students recover and thrive academically and emotionally.

News Coverage of This Case

SFUSD is facing another sexual abuse lawsuit by the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard involving former Lowell High School teacher Harlan Edelman. He is accused of sexually abusing a student during the 2004-2005 school year. These lawsuits highlight the district’s alleged failure to properly supervise and address instances of sexual abuse, prompting legal actions by survivors and their legal representatives.

These lawsuits underscore the importance of schools prioritizing student protection over other considerations and implementing robust measures to prevent and address instances of sexual abuse within educational institutions. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused by a teacher, contact our legal team for assistance.

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