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Single sexual harassment claim can reveal more pervasive issues

A school should be a place where everyone is safe and doesn't have to worry about violations of their rights. No student, teacher or faculty member in a school should be subjected to harassment.

Unfortunately, this is a very real concern for too many children and adults in Florida. And sadly, harassment isn't always limited to one victim and one perpetrator. In some cases, harassment is a widespread problem that only comes to light when one person steps forward.

A bigger problem, in more ways than one

For instance, a woman in another state recently filed a lawsuit seeking damages after her son said he was sexually assaulted at football practice. He recalled that at least three other players were involved in the harassment. 

What might have started as an isolated -- yet still troubling -- incident quickly revealed a much bigger problem. According to reports, more than a dozen other students also came forward with similar allegations as well as reports of forcible sexual abuse and object rape. 

Not only were there far more students affected by the alleged abuse, but the mother who filed the initial lawsuit says that there were extensive efforts to cover up the harassment by school administrators. She claims that both the principal and superintendent dismissed her claims; she also names the athletic director and vice principal in her lawsuit.

Tackling sexual harassment here in Florida

If your child has been mistreated at school by a teacher or another student, you likely expect the school to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the situation and administer penalties. In many cases, this is what happens.

However, there are too many instances when complaints are ignored or victims are accused of fabricating claims or being oversensitive. In these situations, parents may need to take more aggressive action to get a reasonable response and protect their child. This could involve filing a lawsuit against the parties that engaged in and perpetuated misconduct.

If you are struggling with sexual harassment claims involving your child in school, talking to an attorney can help you assess your options, understand your rights and take action.

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