Question

What do I do if I think my child was sexually assaulted or abused at school in California?

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Christa Haggai Ramey - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Christa Haggai Ramey

Located in Los Angeles, CARamey Law, P.C.

Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 310-988-2400
Fax: 310-988-2440

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Schools should always be a safe place where your children can flourish and learn. This is why in California, there are several laws in the education code that give children rights if they are abused in school. There are many reasons why abuse takes place at school. Teachers are often spread too thin, other children act out in bathrooms and on playgrounds, and we live in the day and age where bullying is perpetrated for many reasons. 

If you suspect that your child has been sexually assaulted or abused at school, you can act. It is important that you pursue the issue for the sake of your child and also to prevent it from happening to other children. You can notify the school and enlist the assistance of an attorney, such as those at Ramey Law, P.C., who practice in the area of bullying and abuse. 

What steps should you take? 

First, you should check for warning signs. If a child has been abused, they often don’t want to go to school, they withdraw and they suffer from loss of appetite. If you notice these signs, talk to your child. Reassure them that they will not get in trouble for telling you if something happened, and that they shouldn’t feel ashamed to tell you. 

Second, have your child see a doctor. Your child endured something traumatic. Ensure that they are evaluated physically and mentally by professionals. 

Third, you should complain to the school. Complain in writing and be adamant that your complaint is addressed. You will need to follow up with your complaint and document every correspondence, action and comment by you and school officials. 

Fourth, talk to other parents. Getting other people to come forward can be extremely difficult. Oftentimes bullying and abuse is widespread, or another student witnessed what happened. Getting other parents to corroborate your child’s statement is beneficial. When other parents talk to their children about what happened, it can prevent this from happening to other children. 

Fifth, hire a lawyer. We will investigate the incident and assist in your efforts to get other parents on record — especially in situations where a bully is sexually assaulting or abusing other children. We will ensure your child’s rights aren’t violated and that the school takes the proper steps. 

Your child’s well-being and the safety and well-being of the rest of the children at school are of the utmost importance. If you suspect something, take the steps needed to act. We understand it can be difficult to process and pursue something like this, and we will do everything in our power to ease the burden every step of the way.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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