Boarding School Sexual Assault Lawyer
When you send your child away to boarding school, you trust that they will be safe and well-cared for. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Boarding school sexual abuse can occur on campus or off-campus at public and private schools and involve students of any age.
In recent years, many boarding and preparatory schools have failed to take legal action against predators in their midst and never protected young students. Administrators have often placed their reputation over helping boarding school abuse survivors.
Was your child sexually violated in a boarding school? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented victims of sexual molestation in cases across the United States. We understand the epidemic nature of abusers having access to vulnerable children at well-known boarding schools and academic campuses.
Contact our Chicago sexual abuse lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free, confidential consultation. All sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
A Family's Expectations
Families place their children under the care and supervision of boarding school administrators acting "in loco parentis," assuming parental status.
All boarding schools and teachers are responsible for providing care like a reasonable parent acting as a surrogate liable for the student's education and well-being.
Parents send their children to boarding school expecting to receive a high-quality education in a safe and caring environment.
However, boarding school officials could cause physical and psychological damage to a student under their care through various means, including:
- Failed hiring practices, including a lack of background checks
- Lack of supervision of all children by private and public school faculty, employees, and teachers
- Negligent supervision of any student
- Failure to retain quality staff
- Exposure to predators
- Failure to report abuse leads to further harm
Any failure to provide the student with a safe environment could cost the boarding school its reputation and funds to defend against school sex abuse cases.
Students or their parents could hold the school liable for any action or inaction that resulted in school misconduct that harmed their child.
The school could also be liable if they failed to investigate an abuse allegation thoroughly or take action to prevent or stop further abuse of that student or other children.
Will Taking the Predator to Court be Worse for My Child Then the Sexual Abuse Itself?
Many victims of sexual abuse, including young children, feel empowered to hold the predator legally accountable by going to court. An attorney working on your behalf can protect your loved one's rights to minimize the child's traumatic court experience.
Many local communities have made the court process gentler for victims of sexual abuse. Many advocacy groups are available in the local community to assist the family and the abused student through the court process.
Boarding School Students Sexually Molested, Harassed, and Assaulted
Students enrolled at prestigious American boarding schools have experienced lifelong psychological damage through sexual abuse, inappropriate touching, harassment, or insufficient supervision.
Many schools offer programs to provide educational and boarding services at varying levels. Some schools provide specialized services for the academically motivated. Other schools provide therapeutic assistance for the child's behavioral or learning challenges.
Many schools have residential programs that provide shelter, security, and safety where the child lives on campus. The parents entrusted the administrators, teachers, staff, former faculty members, and counselors to provide the highest level of professional care.
Covering Up Sexual Abuse Cases Harms Children
Many educational administrators choose to cover up any case of sexual assault on the school campus or by their teachers to avoid ruining the lives of the predator or facing negative publicity.
Often, the boarding school fails to notify local law enforcement of any incident or serial pattern of school sex allegations. Just one failure to notify the police of an abuse case could cause lifelong damage to the young victims.
According to some statistics, sexual misconduct at boarding schools has become a pandemic. Some estimates show that ten percent of all students from kindergarten to high school experience inappropriate sexual conduct by an employee, faculty member, staff member, volunteer, coach, or others during their young life.
Most inappropriate sexual activity involving predators occurred at a school event, the facility, or away from campus. About one in six incidents involve non-contact, including online activity.
Twenty Percent of Sexual Predators in Schools are Coaches
Most sexual abuse offenders are white males with an average age of thirty-six. About one in five sexual abusers at public and private schools are coaches. Less than ten percent are art music teachers, and nearly half have had a prior allegation filed against them.
Nationwide, the average prison sentence for an abusive predator caught, prosecuted, and sentenced is forty-seven months. Over half of all convicted predatory abuse felons must register as sex offenders.
More than half of all minor sexual abuse victims are female, with an average age of fifteen. Nearly two-thirds of the victims were high school ethnic students that work at an economic disadvantage.
Officials Destroying Evidence
In some cases, public or private boarding school officials attempt to destroy the evidence to save face and prevent extensive and costly molestation and sexual assault cases. In many cases, the predator is allowed to remain on paid leave during the legal process until the abuse case has been finalized.
It is usually only after the predator has been found guilty of abuse by the jury that they must resign from their position at the school.
Fortunately, experienced personal injury attorneys have resolved many lawsuits that have given sexually molested victims justice and financial compensation for their damages.
Many predators have lost their teaching credentials and licenses to ensure they never have access to vulnerable students in school settings.
A Boarding School Sex Abuse Attorney Can Help
Did a sexual predator victimize you? If so, you still have legal options. Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to discuss what happened during a confidential, free case evaluation. Let us investigate independently to find evidence, gather witness testimony, and build a sex abuse boarding school compensation case.
Public and private boarding school and prep school students are highly vulnerable to sexual abuse and molestation by educators, counselors, boarding school administrators, and fellow students.
The boarding school educational officials could be held legally liable if any student under their care is sexually abused by an employee, teacher, staff member, or anyone else.
When the School Enables the Predator
Unfortunately, over the last few decades, educational institutions across the United States have faced abuse allegations involving child sexual harassment and assault among employees, staff members, and administrators at well-known boarding schools.
Some inappropriate school sex events were reported in New England, specifically in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire, concerning molestation at Christian and private schools.
Sexually Abused Years Ago
In December 2020, the Boston Globe published an article concerning a former Portsmouth Abbey private school student alleging she was sexually assaulted by the teacher years before. At the time of the alleged assault, the male predator was a forty-eight year old teacher at St. George's School, a Rhode Island boarding school, and the sexually assaulted student was a fifteen-year-old sophomore.
A report by the Associated Press stated that a St. George's School former student filed a civil case years after the statute of limitations expired, claiming that the Abbey failed to protect the young student and instead protected themselves while giving the young girl poor legal advice.
Keeping the Scandal Contained
The plaintiff's case stated that the Rhode Island boarding school administrators "wanted to keep the potential scandal contained and commenced to do so by ‘steering" the plaintiff to use the school-approved outside consultant to ‘help' her out of this predicament."
The young sexually abused victim had grown close to her Humanities teacher, stating that the relationship was "sort of filling avoiding giving me some of the praise and support that I was used to getting at home."
The lawsuit states that although the sexual abuse lasted for years, the Catholic Church, school administration, and staff members never investigated the spreading rumors.
The school sexual abuse victim stated that "there was not a lot of desire to follow up. People did not want to deal with it."
In 2019, the Rhode Island legislature enacted a law that extended the statute of limitations to file a civil lawsuit against predators charged with sexual abuse of students. The victim filed a civil case after the predator continued to harass her through emails. No criminal case had been filed.
Predatory Behavior and Grooming
Many boarding schools operate in a small community that provides safety on a secure campus for boarders. Educators, administrators, facility staff, and others are often familiar and closer to students than at other public and private schools.
The predator uses tactics that include:
- Trust –Boarding school abuse predators can build a trusting relationship between the student in themselves through group activities involving school employees, other students, and former students
- Reliance – As the student's trust builds, they start relying on the abuser through gaining affection and attention. The predator might provide their victims with valuable gifts that might involve higher grade marks, money, or presents.
- Isolation – A part of the grooming process nearly always and violence isolating the victim away from the boarding school's campus community through tutor sessions, after our get-togethers, individualized sporting activities, or tailored religious learning.
- Sexual Interaction – Over time, the predator can desensitize their school sex abuse victims to repeated inappropriate touching, kissing, caressing, or other closeness that will eventually extend to sexual activity. A relationship that once involved only talking and touching could advance to sexual crimes, including sexual intercourse, sodomy, or oral sex, where the victim lives in a private hell for months, years, and decades after the abuse occurred.
- Maintenance – Once a school sexual predator has established an intimate relationship, they begin maintaining the interaction through continual control that might involve shaming, guilt, threatening, and secrecy to ensure their victim knows that they are unique and desired
Boarding Schools Child Sexual Abuse Involving Teachers
Teachers, employees, staff members, parents, visitors, and other students should report abuse in public and private schools. However, the state and federal governments mandate that administrators and school owners report inappropriate sexual activity involving students.
Any failure of school teachers and officials to report sexual abuse in boarding schools could lead to criminal charges and civil litigation. However, schools are not required to share child abuse information with other educational institutions across the country.
A lack of sharing data means that the sexual predator dismissed for inappropriate activity could become a teacher at a different facility that was never informed of any abuse allegations.
The predatory teacher could take another job at a different school in their state, or across state lines, without other teachers, school faculty, or parents being aware of their unacceptable behavior.
Boarding Schools Keep Quiet About Sexual Abuse
Boarding schools and their administrators are often encouraged to keep quiet about what happened and sweep the sexual abuse issues under the rug when dismissing the teacher for wrongful behavior.
The educational institution's administrators and owners could avoid civil litigation when passing the sexual abuse boarding school problem onto another school while saving the school's reputation.
However, this action violates school policy in providing a duty of care to all children and places students in harm's way. The predatory school teachers have easy access to vulnerable students.
Identified 1000s of Predators of Sexual Misconduct
This serious sexual abuse problem reaches across the country. A USA Today report in twenty sixteen identified the "fundamental defects in the teacher screening systems used to ensure the safety of children in the nation's more than thirteen thousand school districts."
The article identified the failure of many states and publicly identified thousands of teachers who had been disciplined due to inappropriate sexual behavior.
This major cover-up involved many public and private schools and insufficient background checks on every staff member, teacher, and employee.
The article revealed that the United States' Department of Education likely contributed to the nationwide sexual assault cases in boarding schools.
School Abuse Victims Face Lifelong Challenges
Even one incident of inappropriate sexual activity involving a targeted student can create lifelong challenges for the victim. Many predators use tactics that have feelings of shame and guilt in the victim, who likely blame themselves for what happened and never reported it to proper authorities.
In some cases, public and private school administrators become aware of what happened and fail to take appropriate measures to stop the behavior and protect the sex abuse victim.
Instead, once the assault is known, school sex abuse victims are often subjected to rumors, intimidation, and social pressure involving retaliation, alienation, or bullying by educators, staff members, and administrators.
As a result, many sexual abuse victims transfer off campus to avoid further social persecution and isolation. Only a small number of former school students will report the sex abuse years after the abuse occurs. Life-altering, severe personality changes impact nearly all.
Many child sexual abuse survivors experience the ongoing effects of assault that involve anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, insomnia, suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide), and challenges associated with maintaining healthy relationships.
Speak with a Boarding School Abuse Attorney For Legal Assistance
Our boarding schools' sex abuse attorneys have experienced heartbreaking consultations with students of sexual abuse. We listen carefully to the student's stories about how the sexually inappropriate behavior of others caused them physical and mental harm.
Our law firm takes great steps to ensure that sexually abused children harmed in private and public schools are never alone in holding their abuser legally responsible for what they did.
Have you, or a loved one, suffered abuse by a sexual predator? Contact the boarding school abuse injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
You may be entitled to receive financial compensation for the private schools' inappropriate sexual conduct even years after the abuse occurs. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to discuss your legal options.
Our legal team is ready to seek justice and fight aggressively on your behalf to hold boarding school staff members, teachers, coaches, educational officials, educators, fellow male or female students, or former school students accountable.
Learn about child sexual abuse in the following private and public schools by following the link below:
Our law office is also investigating cases involving:
- Santa Catalina School
- Dunn School
- Midland School
- Cate School