It is a concerning and disturbing story that is repeated all too often on the news; a child is abused at school. Oftentimes, the abuse is more than just a sole act but can, unfortunately, involve repeated instances of neglect and abuse. Parents and guardians trust schools, teachers, and the school’s administration for the safety of their children. When this trust is violated parents of children who have suffered such neglect and abuse can feel powerless and confused. The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Team have fought for children and parents subjected to abuse and can help.
Types Of Abuse and Neglect at Los Angeles Schools
Types of abuse and neglect vary greatly and include physical or sexual abuse. Other acts of abuse and neglect can be more subtle such as the deprivation of food and water, the improper restraint of a student, and emotional abuse. Oftentimes, the full extent of the abuse is not truly understood until a criminal investigation or lawsuit is involved. Children who demonstrate behavior changes such as withdrawal, anger, hostility, aggression, depression, or anxiety may be experiencing abuse or neglect.
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What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Abused at School
Parents who suspect their child is being subject to neglect or abuse should immediately report any signs to the school administration and their local police department. Parents should document, to the extent they can, any signs or symptoms of the abuse by taking pictures of any unexplained bruises or marks and documenting any other concerns. Parents should consult with an attorney as early as possible who specializes in litigation against schools and school administration, as there may be administrative procedures and hearings that can affect the viability of filing a lawsuit. An attorney can work with parents and guardians to gather the proper evidence and interview critical witnesses.
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Bringing A Lawsuit Against A School in Los Angeles
Parents and guardians can bring a lawsuit against teachers, aides, and the school district that employed them. Such a lawsuit can involve claims for wrongful intentional acts such as assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit may also involve claims for negligence or negligent training, supervision, and hiring. Depending on the situation, parents may also be able to make Constitutional claims for deprivation of civil rights. Special needs children may also be able to bring a claim for a violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. These claims can be brought in state court or federal court, so it is important to consult with an attorney who regularly practices in both. A successful lawsuit can give an abused child access to counseling and specialized teaching to help the child cope with the trauma.