Any organization whose primary mission is to serve children — including elementary schools — owes every child involved in the organization a duty to protect those children from sexual abuse. This should not be a matter up for debate. This is why I so shocked to see a story on the local News 13 website describing a child sexual abuse situation at Champion Elementary School in Daytona Beach in Volusia County. As a Florida child sex abuse attorney, the story here is, unfortunately, all too familiar. A little girl comes home and complains of pain while using the restroom. A concerned parent at first thinks little of it, but then begins to dig a little further. Finally, the little girl admits that somebody touched her (or worse) where they shouldn’t have. In this instance, it appears that the abuse occurred on school property — in a classroom and in the lunchroom. How in the world this could happen during a school day — when adults are supposed to be closely supervising children — is beyond me. Nevertheless, even if it was an “innocent mistake,” the impact to this child will likely be devastating. Statistically, this precious little girl will now face a lifetime of significant, perhaps insurmountable mental and physical health challenges. This is the reality faced by most child sex abuse victims. Organizations that cater to children – such as schools, youth sports programs, and child mentoring programs — can be held liable for money damages when they do not adequately protect kids from sexual abuse. Money from these kinds of claims can be used to get specialized care for victims. If you have any questions regarding a potential claim by a child against a youth-oriented organization, call Florida child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit our website for helpful information by clicking...Read More »
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