Sexually Harassed at School? You May Have a Case
Sexual harassment can happen anywhere, including school. Students have the legal right to sue schools and school officials if they have been the victims of sexual harassment at school, even if it occurs outside of academic hours.
Understanding sexual harassment laws can be difficult. This guide will clear up some of the confusion and help you begin your case.
What Is School Sexual Harassment?
When sexual harassment occurs at a school, it can be in the form of verbal harassment. Verbal harassment includes comments about one’s body, the spreading of sexually-based rumors, sexual remarks, and even the telling of dirty jokes and stories.
Harassment can also become physical, perhaps even verging on assault. Physical harassment encompasses actions like flashing, mooning, rubbing, pinching, and other types of sexual touch that make an individual feel uncomfortable.
Sexual harassment can even mean exclusion based on sex. For instance, a student who is told she is not allowed to join the chess club because all its current members are male may establish a case. Another form of this could be a teacher telling the classroom that all boys are terrible at English, followed by a speech berating the male students in their class.
Finally, sexual harassment can be of the visual variety. Visual harassment may include obscene gestures or displaying nude or inappropriate images.
An example of sexual harassment in school might include quid pro quo harassment, which essentially means, “If you give me this, I’ll give you that.” A teacher might encourage a student to perform sexual activities in order to earn a better grade, for instance.
Who Is Liable for School Sexual Harassment?
The liability for issues like sexual harassment is based on the specific issue. Each instance of sexual harassment varies, and some cases may be more complex than they appear on the surface. This is especially the case when you consider that victims of harassment can be male or female students or staff members. Harassers can be students, teachers, staff members, coaches, and anybody else who works on the campus.
If a school official or employee is the one engaging in sexual harassment, the school district is a common target for a legal case. The school is responsible for the student’s exposure to this individual and his or her conduct. If the school may not be held liable, the student and attorney can pursue a case against the officials themselves.
A school can also be held responsible if a student committed the assault or harassment. The victim may have reported the activity to the school, but the school opted to ignore the complaint and maintain the status quo. A student can pursue a personal injury case as a result of this negligence.
How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Build a Case?
Building a case against a school or school district can be a daunting task. One way a personal injury attorney approaches the task is by pointing out a pattern of abuse or by demonstrating that the school district knew about the threat the individual poses to students. The school acted negligently.
If you are being harassed or otherwise mistreated in an illegal manner at school, you need to consult with an attorney. You may have a strong case against your school or an employee.
The Cochran Firm of the Mid-South is one of the country’s largest personal injury law firms. We work one-on-one with our clients to ensure we can provide the best possible representation. We have access to a wide range of resources, ensuring you receive the best possible treatment and representation. Call our office today to discuss your legal options.