Schools should be safe places for children, but they are not immune to violence. Instances of sexual violence in schools are disturbingly high, especially for women in high school, college, and university. Studies report that between 20 and 25 percent of women experience attempted or completed sexual assault in college or university. Students of any age may be victims, however. The abuse can begin as early as daycare for babies and toddlers.
At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we help sexually abused students and their families seek justice and compensation for their losses. Our lawyers pursue civil cases against public and private institutions, including day care centers, elementary schools, junior and senior high schools, and colleges and universities.
We have experience with institutional liability cases involving teachers, coaches and students in Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, New York and the surrounding areas.
Attorney Jeffrey Fritz will help you confidently pursue effective legal action for full and fair compensation. Mr. Fritz is a charter member and past president of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, an affiliate of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
To schedule a free confidential consultation with attorney Fritz, please call 215-732-2260.
Teachers And Students
Sexual abuse or assault in schools may include:
- Harassment, molestation or nonconsensual sex perpetrated by a student or teacher.
- Consensual sex between two students or between a student and teacher that constitutes statutory rape.
Special needs children are more vulnerable targets because they may not understand sexual abuse, they may have trouble reporting it and may be unable to defend themselves. Teachers or teachers’ aides can and do commit abuse. However, a lack of classroom supervision can result in special needs children being abused by other children as well.
Title IX And Mandatory Reporting
Under Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)), schools that receive federal funding are required to investigate a reported rape/sexual abuse. Title IX requires schools to take immediate action to stop student-student harassment, prevent recurrence and address the effects.
Mandatory reporters are individuals required by the state to report suspicions of child abuse to authorities.
- In Pennsylvania, mandatory reporters include school administrators, teachers, school nurses, social services workers, day care center workers, or any other child care or foster care workers.
- In New Jersey, anyone with reason to suspect child abuse is mandated to report it.
If a school failed to follow mandatory reporting requirements or Title IX requirements, we can hold the institution accountable for negligence. We may also file a suit against the responsible individual when appropriate.