Illinois schools and their staff have a responsibility to provide a safe learning environment. Parents entrust teachers, coaches, bus drivers, custodians and school counselors, every day, for the safety and well-being of their children.
The sad reality is that each year, far too many cases reflect situations in which school employees take advantage of their positions of trust over children and engage in sexual misconduct.
Under Illinois law, if your child goes to a private school and is molested or otherwise sexually abused, the standard for winning the case is showing that the school acted negligent. You can always sue the scumbag who committed the abuse, but there must be some sort of negligence on part of the school.
If the abuse happened at a public school, Illinois law requires that the school be more than negligent, but instead show reckless disregard. In most cases that means that you need to show that the school knew or should have known that the staff member was doing these awful things or likely to do so. So if they get a credible complaint about a staff member and don’t remove them and then it happens again, there would likely be a lawsuit.
It’s important to remember that the age of consent in Illinois is 17, but I would certainly argue that it’s beyond inappropriate for a teacher or coach to have a sexual relationship with any student whether they consent to it or not. Beyond the age gap the position of authority issue is a real problem.
If your child has been a victim of abuse or you suspect that might be I recommend a few things:
1. Go to the hospital for an exam.
2. Go to the police and file a report.
3. Talk to an attorney before talking to the school. Our first goal is to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Unfortunately some schools will manipulate the situation and only look out for themselves at the peril of others and any case your child may have.
Very few Illinois law firms have real experience with these cases and a track record of success. No matter where in Illinois this happened we can refer you to the best lawyers for a child sexual abuse lawsuit. Call for a free, confidential consultation with our attorneys at 312-346-5320. There is never a fee unless a recovery is made.