Child abuse in elementary school is on the increase in many places, and while there are regulations that forbid the use of corporal punishment in many public schools, children are often afraid to speak out when they’ve been physically or sexually abused by a teacher. Being able to recognize the signs of child abuse is important; knowing what to do about it is essential.
Obligation to Report Suspected Abuse
Anyone who becomes aware of suspected abuse has an obligation to report it to police. While the decision to file criminal charges against the abuser is ultimately up to the authorities, anyone who fails to report child abuse could face criminal charges themselves. Teachers, administrators, and other school employees and volunteers have an obligation to notify police or child welfare officials whether they believe a child’s story or not.
As a parent, you may also wish to discuss the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit against the teacher and school which allowed this abuse to happen. The law is complex with regard to suing a public school, and the best way to learn the legal options available to you and your child would be to request a free consultation with a child abuse lawyer as soon as possible. We’re happy to discuss this with you free of charge, and are available 24 hours a day at 1-877-403-9378.
Parents: Be On the Lookout for Inappropriate Behavior
In addition to changes in your child’s behavior, be on the lookout for teachers who do the following:
- Give gifts or money to children.
- Are much too physical with children (hugging, tickling, etc).
- Discuss inappropriate topics with children, such as their bodies and topics related to sex.
- Making offers to babysit.
- Sharing personal information with children (this is inappropriate and amounts to gross misconduct).
- Making contact with children outside of school hours on the phone, through texts, Facebook, etc.
While it’s up to the police and district attorney to pursue criminal charges, parents can still file a civil claim against the teacher and school in order to seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, therapy, alternative schooling arrangements, and more. Contact our firm for a free consultation, and we will explain the options that are open to you. For a free consultation, fill out the contact form on this page or call our office at 1-877-403-9378.