Every child deserves the right to education free of harassment, bullying and abuse. Children have the right to equal access to academic courses, health services, field trips, extra curricular education and technology.

As parents of children with disabilities, lawyers at our firm know firsthand that children with special needs are often discriminated against in the school setting.

During the 2019–20 school year, 77 percent of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of crime had taken place, amounting to 1.4 million incidents. – CDC

Discrimination on Basis of Disability, Race, Gender or Other Protected Class is Illegal.

Here are some examples of discrimination your child may be struggling with:

  • Children who need medication, such as an asthma inhaler or insulin, during the school day may have difficulty accessing it.
  • Children who are at risk of seizures or a severe allergic reaction may be prevented from participating in activities such as field trips.
  • Children with severe disabilities that impact breathing, elimination, or other bodily functions may need the school to provide an aide to assist them.
  • Children with seizure disorders or autism may need the school to allow them to be accompanied by their service animal.

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against children with disabilities in public and private schools. Even if you have filed an administrative law claim and settled your case based on an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit in federal or state court, and seek monetary compensation.

Has Your Child Or A Child That You Know Experienced Abuse At School?

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Bullying, Assaults and Sexual Abuse in Schools

We think of schools as a safe place for students. Unfortunately, many students suffer physical assaults as well as verbal and physical bullying from other students, teachers and third parties. Abuse of students can occur in many forms and may involve circumstances that are not necessarily physically abusive. Common examples of student abuse by a teacher include:

  • Emotional, physical, or sexual harassment of the child
  • Excessive or unauthorized use of corporal punishment, or physical force
  • Discrimination based on protected categories, including:
    • race
    • gender
    • disability
  • Restrictions on the constitutional rights of the student, such as those involving freedom of expression and free speech
  • Failure to address special needs of the student, such as handicap access
  • Unfair academic treatment, such as bias or preferential treatment in grading
  • Denial of educational opportunities

School officials, such as teachers and principals, have a responsibility to maintain a safe atmosphere for their students. If bullying occurs on school grounds, there are many different parties which may potentially be held liable, including:

  • The bullying student
  • The bullying child’s parents, especially if the parents approved or encouraged the abusive conduct and/or
  • The school itself, or school staff or officials, especially if they knew about the bullying but did nothing to stop or prevent it

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in schools is a crisis plaguing all 50 states, as there have been widespread reports of students who have been sexually abused by teachers, coaches, and other school staff members. When a child comes forward to report sexual abuse by a school employee, there are many questions that must be answered – including whether the school was negligent in their failure to prevent sexual abuse. In cases of school negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a sexual abuse lawsuit.

School officials have a legal duty to do everything in their power to protect their students from sexual predators. Schools that fail to do so may be considered negligent and could face liability if the victims and their families file a civil school sex abuse lawsuit.

If negligence is involved, schools can be held liable for abuse of students by any adult on the school’s property, including:

  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Guidance counselors
  • School nurses
  • School officials
  • Visitors to the school
  • Bus drivers
  • After-school program employees and volunteers
  • Janitors and custodians

If your child or someone you know at your child’s school has been a victim of sexual assault, contact our office for a private, confidential and free case evaluation.

Our Attorneys Will Protect And Defend The Rights Of Your Child.

Schedule a complimentary consultation with Martin & Martin attorney’s today.