Survivor Speaks About SFUSD Lawsuit and Settlement

"I highly recommend Cerri, Boskovich & Allard as your legal counsel; their genuine commitment to your well-being shines through."

In March 2024, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) settled an educator sexual abuse lawsuit brought by Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 for $4.5 million after the two former George Washington High School students alleged they had been sexually abused by Athletic Director Lawrence Young-Yet Chan. 

This settlement gave Jane Doe 1 some closure and a sense of validation after years of suffering in silence. Although initially hesitant, she was able to find solace in the fact that SFUSD acknowledged its negligence. She attributes this to her attorney, Lauren Cerri, and the team at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard. In agreeing to the settlement, the priority was to spare survivors from having to recount their trauma, giving them the space to heal and start constructing a new chapter in their lives.

The Road to Justice and Healing

According to the lawsuit, Chan groomed and sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 from 2012 to 2016. The abuse occurred on school grounds during school hours in various locations, including Chan's office, a storage room, a locker room, and a stairwell.

However, when Jane Doe 1 reported the abuse to the police in 2017, and Chan was arrested, the school district allowed him to resign quietly. This agreement stated that the district would not release Chan's personnel file unless legally required to do so, effectively enabling him to seek employment at other schools or youth organizations without disclosing his history of abuse.

When Jane Doe 1 hired the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard to represent her, it immediately recognized the common practice among many school districts of “passing the trash.” This occurs when accused abusers are allowed to quietly leave their positions without facing consequences or disclosing their misconduct to future employers. In doing so, dangerous predators are allowed to seek employment in future schools, further endangering children.

Moving Forward on a Path Towards Healing

Coming forward was not easy for Jane Doe 1. Like many sexual assault survivors, she coped by remaining silent. Chan's psychological manipulation during the abuse left her feeling isolated and too frightened to disclose the abuse to anyone. The idea of going to trial or even talking about her abuse with others seemed terrifying. “The idea of reopening buried wounds and navigating a legal process felt overwhelming, and I questioned the worth of such an experience,” Jane Doe 1 said.

However, she knew that the school district had failed to protect her when she needed it most. In order to begin healing and move forward toward closure, Jane Doe 1 knew that she must seek justice. “Despite initial hesitations about going through the legal process due to feeling exposed, I now find solace in the fact that SFUSD acknowledged its negligence, thanks to Lauren and the broader legal team,” Jane Doe 1 said.

Survivors Need a Safe Space to Speak

Like many survivors, Jane Doe 1 needed a safe space to speak out about her truth and about the harm she suffered. The attorneys and staff at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard understand the immense courage it takes to come forward about abuse and make it their mission to validate and support survivors every step of the way.

This was important to Jane Doe 1 because it helped her feel comfortable and safe at a particularly vulnerable time.

“Working with Lauren and Cerri, Boskovich & Allard 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 1 stated.

“Knowing that a firm has such resources, knowledge, genuineness, and TRANSPARENCY is what stood out to me,” Jane Doe 1 added. Despite the inevitable mental strain of the legal process, Lauren's unwavering support and confidence in overcoming challenges provided immense reassurance. Lauren simplified the complex jargon, always making herself available for questions and fostering an environment where opinions could be freely expressed.”

A Law Firm That Holds Abusers & Institutions Accountable

To any survivor considering coming forward, know that you are not alone. Seeking justice through the legal system can be a challenging but empowering journey.

“If you've ever contemplated seeking justice, I wholeheartedly endorse embarking on the legal journey with Lauren and the sexual abuse legal team at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard,” Jane Doe 1 states.

With the right support and advocacy, you can hold your abusers and the institutions that failed to protect you accountable. You can reclaim your power and begin the process of healing.

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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