California Inappropriate Teacher Student Relationship Statistics

It’s difficult to determine the rate of inappropriate teacher-student relationships. There are a few different ways to identify and consider the statistics. One is by searching for the rate at which there are criminal charges, investigations, and firings for inappropriate teacher-student relationships. However, these numbers can be difficult to make sense of.

When looking at the rate of concrete examples of inappropriate relationships, the percentages are very low. Even the variances from year to year don’t represent large shifts overall. Most graduating classes have less than one teacher in their academic career fired or criminally charged for inappropriate relationships.

Underreported Cases of Teacher-Student Sexual Abuse

There is an obvious flaw in this method of finding statistics: it doesn’t address the fact that abuse, particularly sexual abuse, is known to be wildly underreported. This is likely the case in schools as well.

For instance, there have been anonymous self-reported surveys that have as many as 10% of students admitting to having sexual interactions with educators, and 13% of educators reported having a sexual interaction with students. This means it’s highly likely that a significant number of abusive interactions have gone unaddressed.

Part of the cause of the discrepancy may be a lack of understanding of what is inappropriate. It may be that many people are unaware of the fact that these are inappropriate relationships.

Students and teachers alike seem to not recognize the fact that there is an issue with sexual interactions between them. Therefore, it’s possible that this can only be described as an institutional failure. There is not sufficient education regarding what is and isn’t inappropriate in our schools.

While it may be impossible to find an exact number for the rate at which inappropriate teacher-student relationships occur, there does seem to be a consensus amongst experts and researchers in the field that there is a significant problem that seems to be getting worse. One researcher, Charol Shakeshaft, has claimed that physical sexual abuse is about 100 times more likely to happen to a child in school than it is by a priest.

The high rate of teacher-student sexual abuse begs the question of why it’s so bad and how it can be corrected. Officials and leaders in school districts will need to work toward fixing the problem. The issue is a substantial one, often with detrimental impacts on the children who suffer this kind of abuse.

Pursuing Compensation for Teacher-Student Sexual Abuse and Spurring Change

By correcting past mistakes, schools and school districts may be able to reduce the number of inappropriate interactions between teachers and students. In many instances of teacher sexual abuse, the school could have done something to prevent the situation.

The stories of victims of abuse often reveal the weaknesses and flaws in how schools are operated. Learning from these past mistakes is absolutely critical as we try to prevent more abuse in the future. When victims come forward with their stories, institutions may be able to react with more thorough protections. However, it’s important to recognize how difficult it can be for victims to reveal their abuse.

One way to tell one’s story of abuse is in the process of a civil claim. These are lawsuits often filed against the school districts and highlight the ways in which they were negligent and could have taken the right steps to protect the child involved. Fortunately for these victims, the process affords them the ability to file civil claims without having to reveal their identity to the public. This protection can be critical as they continue to heal from the abuse.

Civil claims often result in some kind of compensation for the victims. That money is never seen as having fixed anything. However, it may be able to help victims as they heal and move forward.

A significant impact of civil claims is that they can lead to institutional change. Because the claims reveal the flaws and negligence of the institutions, the defendant and others will likely be motivated to make changes that address issues of teacher-student sexual abuse. If such actions could have prevented the abuse in question, they could also prevent future abuse.

The DeMarco Law Firm Can Assist Victims of Teacher-Student Sexual Abuse

While those who have suffered from sexual abuse can benefit significantly from a civil claim, we also understand how difficult the process can sometimes be. It takes time for survivors of child sex abuse to heal, and that’s why victims should have the right to come forward at any time.

If you or someone you know is ready to come forward, it’s important to work with someone who has a strong understanding of the law, as well as a capacity for empathy. As a firm that practicesin child sexual abuse cases, we use our experience to strike a balance between the sensitivity that our clients deserve and the fierce representation necessary to obtain what they are owed. Contact us if you are ready to discuss your case or learn more about your options.