Sexual Exploitation of Teens by Teachers Can Cause Severe Long-Term Harm
Sexual victimization of students in the Georgia’s school system has risen by 55% since the year 2000. Teachers are in a unique position of trust and an unequal power relationship toward students that is susceptible to potential abuse.
Every teacher goes through rigorous training involving academics as well as moral conduct. In the course of a thorough college education, teacher candidates are instructed as to how to conduct themselves ethically around students of any age, especially those over the age of 14. However, inappropriate relationships constituting sexual abuse and exploitation of students by teachers are on the rise. An increasing number of teachers are crossing the line claiming to be tempted by students who seem mature beyond their years. According to the National Teachers Union (NTU), “They may not know the damage they are inflicting. Teachers know what the law is, and that they will be potentially damaging their career and receiving a criminal record.”
The Georgia sexual abuse injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognizes that victimization of children is a serious crime. Children, of any age, rely upon teachers to provide guidance and support. Teachers have the responsibility to create an “open-door” policy of trust. Unfortunately, this relationship of honesty and trust can be undermined. Students who are experiencing feelings of sexuality for the first time and struggling with confusion regarding these feeling are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Society and the media create a “faux” maturity; teens may often dress and act more advanced than their years. The NTU concedes that, “a teacher with a weakness or predatory instinct may cross the line.”
Sexual predators are often drawn to occupations such as teaching, the priesthood, probation officers and others where they have a high frequency of contact with teenagers. Anyone over the age of 21 who has sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16 may be guilty of statutory rape regardless of consent. In a recent case, a teacher seduced and victimized a student during tutoring sessions and special events. He convinced her to come to his home and continue the relationship further. They began a “relationship” that ultimately led to the teacher’s dismissal and a lawsuit resulting in compensation to the victim. The perpetrator tried to justify his actions by claiming that they were close in age, but the perpetrator was actually twice the victim’s age. According to the law, the criminal defendant exercised undue influence or persuasion over the victim. The lasting consequence on a teenager that is exploited by a teacher, counselor, clergyman or anyone whom a teenager trusts can have an emotional and long-term devastating impact on the abuse victim.
Teenagers may have a hard time coping with the aftermath of an inappropriate relationship with a teacher. The abuse victim who was confused when the relationship was exposed called or texted the perpetrator over 7,000 times, begging for guidance because of dependence on the sexual predator. The victim and the family received a multi-million dollar settlement for the severe physical and emotional injuries suffered by the exploited student. If your child has been abused or exploited by a teacher or another adult in a position of trust, the Georgia sexual abuse injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates may be able to help you obtain the compensation that your child deserves.
Our Atlanta sexual exploitation injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.