Teachers, Coaches & Principals Are in a Position of Authority
Victims of sexual abuse are often so traumatized that they will place blame on themselves. For instance, a student who is sexually abused by a teacher may believe that they willingly participated in the sexual acts, and therefore, they are guilty too. However, the reality is that teachers are in a position of authority and therefore hold a unique power over their students. Teachers who abuse this power, even if the student was a willing participant in the sex acts, are morally and legally responsible.
Sexual Assaults/Abuse at School
There are increasing reports across the country of sex abuse in school settings. Recent high profile school sex abuse cases have created an increased awareness about the prevalence of sex abuse in this country. As a result, more victims have come forward and bravely filed reports against sex abuse perpetrators.
Sexual Abuse by a Teacher, Principal, Etc.
Sexual abuse by teachers, coaches, principals, and other school employees occurs in all levels of school, including elementary, middle and high school. It even occurs in special schools for disabled children. Sexual abuse by educators does not always take the form of forced and coerced sexual assaults. Instead, teachers, coaches, etc., often form special relationships with target students. What begins as an inappropriate relationship becomes sexual over time. The student is led to believe that they are in an adult-type sexual relationship, and even if the student is uncomfortable with the sexual activity, the student may continue the relationship out of fear of being caught.
Sexual Abuse of Older Students, Abuse of Authority
Teachers, coaches, principals, etc., are in positions of authority and hold a special power over students who often seek their approval. This is one of the main reasons student sexual abuse occurs. It also explains why a student might begin a sexual relationship with a teacher, coach, etc.
In other words, because the perpetrator holds a position of authority, a student might actually be willing to engage in sexual acts. For example, a high school student may believe he or she has a real relationship with the teacher. However, this acceptance or acquiescence is simply invalid because the teacher holds that special power over the student. Younger students who are not old enough to even legally consent to sexual contact often believe that the teacher, coach, etc., truly cares for them.
Whether the student is a young child or an 18 year old high school senior, a teacher, coach or principal who engages in sexual conduct is violating the rights of the victim.
Sexual Assault by Another Student
Sexual abuse is not limited to teachers, coaches, principals, etc. In fact, students can and do commit sexual assault of other students. In addition, groups of students may commit sexual abuse and because no one steps in, the group gets away with it and may commit additional acts of sexual abuse.
If you or a loved one was sexually abused in a school setting, please call our office for a free consultation with Brian Kent. Mr. Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now fights for the rights of sex abuse victims in civil cases. 800.220.7600