PUBLIC & PRIVATE SCHOOL ABUSE
Public & Private School Abuse Attorneys in Houston, Texas
It is a sad reality that children here in Texas, in the country, and all over the world are abused every day. It is even sadder that it is often the people we trust most with our children that take advantage of that fact. When you place your child in the care of another individual, you wouldn’t dream that they might be capable of such a thing.
No one should ever have to worry about the possibility of abuse when sending their child to something as commonplace and necessary as school. Unfortunately, child abuse can happen anywhere, including both public and private schools. If your child has been a victim of abuse, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately. At Reich & Binstock, we know just how serious of a matter this is, and we want to help you and your child recover while holding the abuser accountable. Contact us today to see how we can help.
What is Child Abuse?
The laws regarding child abuse and how to define it vary from state to state. Generally though, child abuse is a crime by law that refers to any intentional harm or maltreatment to a child below the age of 18. There are many different ways that a child may be abused. These include:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Medical abuse
Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience for a child, and unfortunately, it occurs more than you might think. In the state of Texas, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. Sexual abuse refers to when a child is raped or forced to perform a sexual act. It also occurs when children are used as a means to arouse the abuser. This might mean the abuser is making the child undress, showing the child inappropriate or pornographic material, or fondling a child’s genitals or other body parts.
Children who are victims of physical abuse often obtain temporary injuries but permanent mental ones. Physical abuse to a child occurs when another person (often someone older) intentionally injures them or puts them at risk to be physically injured.
Emotional abuse does not involve physical harm, but can seriously injure a child’s self-worth. It occurs when a person purposely hurts the child’s emotional well-being, either verbally or by ignoring, rejecting, or isolating them.
Medical abuse is a less common form of abuse, but is still just as dangerous. This is when a person intentionally tries to make a child ill. They may purposely place the child in danger as a means to injure them or make them sick, requiring them to receive medical attention.
Child neglect is another form of child abuse. This occurs when the conduct or behavior of the caregiver results in either physical or emotional harm to the child. It can be a result of failing to provide sufficient shelter, food, supervision, affection, education, or medical care.
How to Tell if Your Child is Being Abused at School?
The signs of abuse aren’t always inherently obvious. The signs also vary widely depending on the type of abuse they may be experiencing. There are some red flags that parents can look out for, though.
If you notice your child is obtaining unexplained injuries that don’t quite match their explanation, this might be a sign of physical abuse. Pay attention to any marks, bruises, or otherwise physical signs of injury to your child.
You should also pay attention to the behavior of your child. If your child was once very outgoing and you notice them suddenly becoming withdrawn or losing interest in an activity they once loved, this may be an indicator of abuse. He or she may develop a sense of fear for certain places or people in a way to try to avoid exposing themselves to abuse.
Another behavior to look out for is unusual sexual behavior. While it is normal for children going through puberty to be curious about their sexuality and body parts, there are some warning signs that might reflect sexual abuse. If their behavior seems entirely too mature for their age, like age-inappropriate remarks or references, this may be a sign that they were exposed to something indecent and unhealthy. It could also indicate that they may have been molested at some point.
You should also beware of physical sexual signs, particularly in your child’s genital areas. If you notice they complain of any pain, bleeding, or discharge that seems abnormal, contact their pediatrician right away.
Child Abuse in a Houston Public School
The extent of child abuse in the school system is impossible to quantify. This is not only because most cases go unreported, but also because there is no national database that tracks child abuse cases occuring in K-12 schools. From what we can gather from news media and local papers, though, child abuse in schools reaches an astonishing number.
At least 1 in 10 students in the public school system will experience sexual misconduct from a school employee before they graduate high school. These instances can occur at school, at a school event, outside of school, or even online.
Victims of abuse can be either male or female, as can the offenders. However, 56% of victims of school-related abuse are female, while 67% of offenders are male. Unfortunately, only 53% of offenders are convicted and 51% are required to register as a sex offender.
Child Abuse in a Houston Private School
Many parents who seek private school as opposed to public school for their children do so because they want a safer environment for them as well as a better education. It may be shocking to learn that, unfortunately, abuse still occurs in private school systems. Whether it be Christian schools, Catholic schools, prep or boarding schools, kids are not safe from abuse anywhere. This statement may sound harsh, but it is important for parents to understand.
Just because the school may be religious or prestigious, that doesn’t guarantee it is safe from abusers and predators. Predators can range from a teacher to a janitor to even a pastor. Other potential abusers include:
Another student (typically an older child); teacher’s aid; coach; assistant coach; playground attendant; church volunteer; priest; rabbi; office worker; groundskeeper; etc.
Parents may become so emotionally and financially invested in their child’s success that it becomes impossible to accept this reality. There is no harm in wanting your child to succeed and be safe in school, but it is important to remember that even private schools are not completely safe from abuse.
Contact Houston Child Abuse Attorneys Today
If you believe your child has been a victim to public or private school abuse, call our attorneys at Reich & Binstock as soon as possible. This is an urgent situation and we will work to remedy it right away. Call 713-352-7883 or 877-643-3099 toll free or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation now.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.