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

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 1, 2024 – Two sexual abuse lawsuits against the San Francisco Unified School District have settled according to the San Jose law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard. The SFUSD board of trustees approved the settlement amount after the SFUSD insurance carriers and the sexual abuse survivors agreed to the settlement amount.

The firm sued SFUSD in 2022 for failing to supervise then George Washington High School athletic director Lawrence Young-Yet Chan. Chan allegedly sexually abused two students and was allowed to quietly resign from his position.

According to attorney Lauren Cerri, “the majority of the sexual abuse took place on the George Washington campus during school hours – in Chan’s locked office, in a locker room and a stairwell, and in the student government classroom. He was totally unsupervised,” Cerri said.

The two survivors were named as Jane Doe 1 and Jane 2 in the lawsuits. Chan allegedly sexually abused Jane Doe 1 from 2012 to 2016; the abuse of Jane Doe allegedly occurred between 2012-2013.According to Jane Doe 1’s lawsuit, it is alleged that she told San Francisco police about Chan’s sexual assaults in 2017 leading to his arrest. After he was released for a lack of evidence, the school district entered into a “secret agreement” with Chan that allowed him to quietly resign.

Despite the fact the two students were allegedly sexually abused more than a decade ago and that Chan was never convicted, the evidence was compelling enough for the District to agree to the settlement. “Had this case gone to trial, we were confident that a jury would likely return a verdict greater than the settlement amount,” Cerri said. “But in agreeing to the settlement, the two women were spared having to retell their stories and can now move forward and start to rebuild their lives.”

Cerri is also suing SFUSD for its failure to supervise former Lowell High School teacher Harlan Edelman. Edelman is accused of sexually abusing a student during the 2004-2005 school year.

“We hope that by shining light on the harm caused to victims of sexual abuse that school districts across California will err on the side of caution and make protection of students a priority over the protection of educators and a district’s image,” Cerri said.


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Client Reviews

“Working with CBA has been a truly remarkable experience. They exude genuineness, openness, and transparency, transforming a challenging situation into a positive one. Lauren, in particular, consistently displayed empathy, ensuring a comfortable and safe environment throughout.”

Jane Doe v. San Francisco Unified School District

Jane Doe

“Every step of the way, Lauren gave me hope when I felt hopeless, and she gave me help when I felt helpless. Lauren was the attorney who I knew was in my corner, and she will undoubtedly continue to be in the corner of survivors to hold their abuser and institution accountable.”

Jane Doe 2 v. East Side Union High School District

Jane Doe 2

“What happened to me needed to be addressed. I missed out on such an important part of my life, while my institution made no qualms. You don’t get to push kids under a rug. I’m glad I was given an opportunity to address my broken life.”

Jane Doe v. Saratoga–Los Gatos Union High School District

Jane Doe
“My family and I were so thankful for the law services and guidance received during a very emotional and challenging time; the care, sensitivity and professionalism with which our case was handled provided us with a sense of calm, clarity and confidence that we could not have navigated on our own or for each other.” Mary Doe
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