Teacher Sexual Misconduct

Teacher sexual misconduct encompasses a range of inappropriate, unethical, and illegal behaviors by educators toward students. It includes any form of sexual or romantic interaction, advances, harassment, or assault perpetrated by a teacher, coach, or any school staff member in a position of authority over the student. This conduct violates professional boundaries and the inherent trust placed in educators, potentially causing significant harm to students both psychologically and physically.

Teacher sexual misconduct continues to be a significant problem for students. Statistics indicate that nearly one in ten students will have been the victim of educator sexual misconduct by the time they graduate high school, with teachers being the number one offender.

The sexual abuse law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard is deeply committed to supporting survivors of teacher sexual misconduct.  Our attorneys provide clear, step-by-step guidance throughout the legal journey, ensuring survivors are informed and supported at every stage. We recognize the sensitive nature of sexual misconduct cases, and we prioritize confidentiality and the emotional well-being of our clients. Our goal is to create a safe space where survivors feel heard and respected.

While no amount of money can undo the harm caused, financial compensation can support survivors in their healing journey. This may cover therapy, medical expenses, and other costs associated with recovery. We tirelessly work to secure the compensation that survivors deserve.

To discuss your case with us, call us for a FREE initial consultation and review. We can help you hold abusive teachers and schools accountable for the harm you’ve suffered.

Types of Teacher Sexual Misconduct

Teacher sexual misconduct can manifest in several ways, each harmful to the student's well-being and educational experience. These include:

  • Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual advances, comments, jokes, or gestures that create a hostile or intimidating environment for the student. This can occur in person or through digital communication channels.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any sexual activity with a student, including but not limited to inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and rape. This abuse exploits the power imbalance between teacher and student, violating trust and causing significant psychological harm.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Actions that exploit a student for the sexual gratification of the teacher, such as sharing or producing pornography. This also includes "grooming" behaviors, where a teacher builds a seemingly trusting relationship with a student to manipulate them into sexual activity.

At the federal level, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives federal funding. This includes sexual harassment and violence. States have their laws and regulations that further delineate what constitutes sexual misconduct by educators and the consequences thereof.

In California, for example, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) sets professional standards for educators, and engaging in sexual misconduct can lead to the revocation of a teaching credential. Additionally, mandatory reporting laws require educators and other professionals to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to law enforcement or child protective services.

Reporting Teacher Sexual Misconduct in California

There are numerous ways for the Committee of Credentials to learn about teacher sexual misconduct allegations. Schools and districts play a crucial role in the initial reporting of sexual misconduct allegations. Ideally, they serve as the first line of defense in protecting students and ensuring that allegations are promptly and appropriately addressed. However, this reliance on schools to self-report can introduce significant gaps in the oversight and disciplinary system.

  • Fear of Adverse Publicity: One of the primary loopholes in the current reporting mechanism is the potential for schools or districts to withhold information about allegations, often due to concerns about damaging their reputation. The fear of adverse publicity can lead some institutions to minimize the severity of allegations or delay reporting to authorities.
  • "Passing the Trash": A particularly concerning practice that emerges from this fear of negative attention is "passing the trash." This involves allowing an accused educator to quietly resign or finish the school year under the radar, after which they may seek employment in another district, often without the new employer being aware of past allegations. This enables the accused to continue abusing children and systematically fails to protect students across different educational settings.
  • Inconsistent Reporting Practices: The effectiveness of reporting mechanisms is also hampered by inconsistencies in how different schools and districts handle allegations. While some may adhere strictly to reporting requirements, others may interpret their obligations more loosely, leading to significant disparities in handling similar cases.
  • Lack of Comprehensive Oversight: The existing process lacks a centralized oversight mechanism to ensure all allegations are reported and acted upon uniformly. Without such oversight, the responsibility falls on individual institutions, which may not always act in the best interest of student safety.

Holding Abusive Teachers Accountable

Cerri, Boskovich & Allard are at the forefront of the effort to hold abusive educators accountable, with a national reputation for representing sexual abuse victims. The firm's dedicated team of attorneys and experts is committed to serving the best interests of sexual abuse victims, a commitment recognized by numerous accolades. This includes the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyer of the Year award, which the firm has won an unprecedented eight times.

Our experienced California sexual abuse legal team has successfully recovered millions for survivors against public school districts in California. We’ve held abusive teachers accountable in public school districts throughout California, including:

We’ve also held abusive teachers accountable in private and religious schools across the state as well. Here are some private schools and institutions we’ve held accountable.

Contact Our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse, please call the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard. We can help guide you through this difficult time. Call our San Jose office at (408) 289-1417 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

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