Is Sexual Misconduct Becoming More Frequent in U.S. Schools?

National statistics indicate that sexual misconduct in American schools may be growing in frequency. One 20-year-old woman recently talked to new sources about her past abuse. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said. The young woman remembers arriving at a new school when she was 15 years old. When she arrived at the small Christian academy, the assistant principal began to give her special attention through phone calls and text messages. In less than a year, the assistant principal began purchasing gifts for the student – including clothing and a laptop computer. Now, the 20-year-old is filing a civil suit against the school, claiming that he assistant principal demanded sex and that the school failed to protect her.

According to research, nearly one in ten children in elementary schools, junior high, and high schools are victims of sexual misconduct – a crime that can range from having sex with a minor to inappropriate touching. According to one Vermont lawyer, computers, cell phones, and the internet make sexual misconduct in schools easier for predators to commit. “…it’s one that technology is making worse,” he said, “it makes it easier for those who are truly predatory.” Even still, school officials claim that their top concern is looking out for students. School officials involved in the civil suit said, “The safety of our students I our highest priority, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect them.” The principal did not make any comments specifically related to the lawsuit.

In a recent interview with local news sources, the student said that she failed to report the abuse for several years because she felt trapped. “I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know who I could trust. I felt completely trapped.” Since then, the 20-year-old victim has graduated from high school and now attends college classes. Although news sources described her as soft-spoken, she fully embraces the motto, “Stand for what is right – even if you stand alone.” Today, the young woman hopes that her personal experience will prevent future sexual misconduct and abuse by raising awareness in U.S. schools. “I wanted to come out and be open and just help other people,” she told news sources.

Additionally, the woman hopes that her openness will help other victims of abuse will report predators and learn to identify potential threats. The 20-year-old said that her relationship with the assistance principal began when he told her that she looked like a gymnast. A short time later, he began arranging time alone with her at school and started sending text messages that read “I miss you,” or “I love you.” Looking back, she realizes that these actions were all part of the man’s attempt to convince her to have sex with him. “I always thought that it was wrong,” she said, ‘but he would justify it by saying he’s really in love with me, that he’s never done this before with any student.”

According to the woman’s attorney, stories like hers are not rare. Many sexual predators buy gifts and say “I love you” to make their victims feel comfortable with the misconduct. These “trusting relationships” can eventually lead to cases of abuse, the lawyer said. At The Senators Firm, we are dedicated to seeking justice for victims of sexual abuse in California. If you or a loved one suffered sexual misconduct at school, call our office today to see what our team can do for your case. When you fill out a free, confidential case evaluation form, our team can help you understand dour legal rights and options. Read more about sexual abuse in private schools to see what our California sexual abuse attorneys can do for your case.