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Posts Tagged "inappropriate"

Background Checks Often Not Enough To Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Child Sexual Abuse, Recent News

Background Checks Often Not Enough To Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Close Supervision and Monitoring Needs To Be Done, Too. Organizations and entities that serve children can be responsible for child sexual abuse — even if they perform their own seemingly vigorous background checks. This simple truth hit home with me as I read a recent article published on the Orlando Sentinel website detailing how Sylvester Johnson, a 62-year-old worker at the Boys and Girls Club of Kissimmee was recently arrested on accusations of lewd and lascivious battery on three young girls in the program. Apparently Mr. Johnson allegedly made several sexually suggestive comments to girls in the program, and allegedly grabbed once of the girls’ buttocks.  He also allegedly took a young girl into a closet and fondled her in exchange for candy money, and told another young girl that he wished he was younger so that he could date her. Boys and Girls Club officials were very quick to state that they ran a very vigorous background check on Mr. Johnson when they originally hired him, as well as recently as a month ago. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I have to wonder why a recent background check was conducted on Mr. Johnson.  Was there some concern about Mr. Johnson, individually?  Was there some concern within the organization that there was a potential sexual abuser on staff? Second, many organizations seem to think that a thorough background check is enough, but it isn’t.  Organizations that cater to children also have a duty to remain vigilant in terms of monitoring and supervising all adults who are placed in contact with the children that they work with.  Sexual predators and child sexual abusers are often very skilled at hiding their prior activities and backgrounds. There are actually websites and other resources available to pedophiles and child predators that tell them how to prepare for a background check.  Experience tells us that these folks generally cannot help themselves and will abuse again and again. Typically these folks have less opportunity to do so if they’re being very closely monitored or watched by their employers. Background checks are essential, but they are not the end-all-be-all. If you have any questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit...

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How Closely Was Classroom Being Supervised in Mims Elementary Inappropriate Touching?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

How Closely Was Classroom Being Supervised in Mims Elementary Inappropriate Touching?

What would you think if you were summoned to your child’s kindergarten class with other parents, and questioned about whether your child had ever mentioned being inappropriately touched? As a father of four children, I think I would be horrified. Apparently, this is the situation that parents in a Mims Elementary kindergarten class faced earlier this week. According to a story posted on  Local 6/Clickorlando.com, an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and Brevard Public Schools at Mims Elementary is under way involving allegations of inappropriate touching. Investigators are not sharing many details at this point, but the story mentions that the regular classroom teacher has been pulled from this kindergarten class. Parents are quoted as saying they are “concerned” about what might have gone on in the classroom. I would bet that “concerned” is an understatement. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I know that the effects of child sexual abuse often last a lifetime. The damage done to a child during these formative years can have major psychological impact for years to come, including being detrimental to adult relationships and healthy sexuality. While the Brevard County Schools were correct to conduct an investigation, the School Board can still face liability depending upon the facts and circumstances of what happened in the classroom. Institutions, like schools, that cater to kids and place them in regular contact with adults, such as teachers, must supervise the contacts between children and adults. Supervision means paying attention to indicators, even if they were subtle, that something inappropriate was happening. In my experience handling cases involving negligent supervision, there are almost always signs that were ignored and shouldn’t have been. It will be interesting to see how this story...

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