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When a school faculty member victimizes the students they are there to aid in learning and growing, it is not only a crime, it is a serious breach of trust. That trust, once broken, cannot be repaired, and when it turns out that the school or another staff member were aware of the crimes occurring and did nothing, gross negligence may be at play as well. School misconduct rarely happens without someone being aware of it going on, and if that person failed to report what they knew about the crimes being committed on campus, they can be held liable for that negligence in civil court. Contact Okabe and Haushalter to speak to a school misconduct lawyer in Santa Monica today.
The rules of conduct that apply to school staff members, especially educators, in the state of California outline the type of professional conduct expected from faculty; ensuring student safety is supposed to be the top priority of all people working at the school. However, when misconduct happens, it can take many forms, ranging from sexual misconduct or other forms of abuse perpetrated against a student and falsification of records or documents. All these forms of misconduct can also be due to negligence—and when they are, there are grounds for a suit in civil court.
Sexual misconduct or abuse of students
If an educator engages with a student in a sexual manner, or abuses them in any way—verbally, physically, or mentally—that is a form of professional misconduct and a crime under the California Penal Code. If a fellow educator or other school faculty member knew about the abuse and did not report it, they could be held liable for their inaction in civil court.
Falsification of documents or records
If a teacher assigns in appropriate grades to a student—for example, failing a student whom they personally dislike or giving high grades to a student who did not academically earn those grades—that is also a form of misconduct. Again, if someone in authority at the school was aware of this misconduct and failed to act to halt it or to report it, that person could be considered negligent in civil court.
If someone employed by the school was cognizant of misconduct taking place on campus and failed to report it, they could be held partially responsible for that misconduct due to negligence. This is because educators are expected to provide a reasonably safe environment to students, and when misconduct occurs and nothing is done to put an end to it, the safety of students is compromised.
If you or a loved one were victimized, contact a school misconduct lawyer in Santa Monica at Okabe and Haushalter. Our firm is dedicated to seeing justice done in civil court when third parties are deemed to have been negligent in allowing misconduct to take place. We can evaluate your case free of charge and determine whether pursuing a civil court case is right for you and your family. There is no cost for a consultation, so call today to learn more about how we can help you.