While the school, church, or youth organization where your child’s abuse occurred may be taking action against the perpetrators of the abuse, who is taking action against them? As the parent of an abused child, you have the right to hold the institution you trusted with your child’s safety accountable when they fail in their duty to protect children, but you need lawyers who understand this complex area of the law. At DRZ Law, we have extensive experience representing the parents of children who have been sexually abused, physically harmed, and bullied while in the care of trusted institutions. From our office in Kansas City, we represent families across the country.
How We Pursue Institutions When Your Child Is Harmed
You may have been told that there is no way to sue a school or other institution when they fail in their duty to protect children. While it is true that some governmental organizations—such as public schools and universities—have some degree of legal immunity, our attorneys have the resources necessary to hold them accountable. When employees or other students in military schools, public schools, private schools, churches, or youth athletic programs abuse your child, the institution itself may be brought to justice with one or more of the following charges:
- Title VI or Title IX violations
- Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Failure to supervise
- Infliction of emotional distress
- Negligent hiring
- Deprivation of Constitutional rights to equal protection under the law
- Violation of state civil and human rights laws
If the individual who abused your child has been charged, why pursue charges against the institution? It may be the only way to get your child the support and treatment he or she will need to heal from the damage that has been done. When you call us, we will take it from there.
Cases We Have Successfully Handled
Unfortunately, there seem to be as many ways to be abused in schools and camps as there are students and staff. Some of the types of cases we have handled include the following:
- Sexual assault and abuse. Children in school aren’t immune from sexual assault, though we wish they were. In daycare centers, public schools, elite boarding schools, military academies, locker rooms, churches, buses, playgrounds, and summer camps, children can be sexually assaulted by other children, teenage leaders, teachers, aides, coaches, priests, and others. The emotional distress of a child who’s been assaulted shouldn’t go unanswered.
- Bullying. Relentless bullying can push any child to the brink of suicide—and it certainly isn’t harmless when it rises to the level of broken bones and branding. These situations can escalate quickly and end very badly. If your child is being bullied at school because of his race, disability, sexual identity or orientation, or—as is often the case—just because, it needs to be addressed immediately.
- Hazing. When the initiation process for joining an athletic team, military school, fraternity, sorority, or other youth organization requires the new member to participate in humiliating and dangerous activities, he or she may be experiencing hazing. If your child ends up harmed—either physically or emotionally—not only should the perpetrators be held accountable, but the adult leaders and the institution should also be made to pay.
Parents who come to us after their child has had one of these traumatic experiences are often hesitant to take legal action. They don’t see themselves as litigious people and often feel like they have failed their child. When they allow us to take on the liable parties, however, we can help them make sure this doesn’t happen to another child.
Why We Do This
Taking on institutions who harbor abusers is a legal specialty. Both public and private schools will employ a number of tactics to hide information about what happened and the background of the abuser. A general personal injury lawyer who is not familiar with this area of the law will not have the resources DRZ Law has to fight back. We have dedicated our practice to empowering victims of abuse so that they can get the treatment they need to heal and to help parents change the system so it doesn’t happen again. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case.