The Chicago Public Schools have been inundated with complaints and allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse in its educational institutions. One particular school, Lincoln Park High School, has been the subject of a series of allegations that have resulted in numerous school personnel being suspended or fired. Now, CPS has been sued by the family of a student who alleges that the school did not do enough to prevent a sexual assault that she experienced at the school in January 2020.
Schools have an obligation to protect their students from all types of sexual abuse and assaults. They must provide adequate security in order to keep the students safe from outside intruders seeking to harm the students in school as well as from people within the four walls of the school. This includes both their fellow students as well as school employees such as teachers and administrators. Not only must the school have physical security protections in place, but it also must have policies and procedures that are reasonably intended to protect the students.
Even though school systems are governmental entities, they can still be defendants in lawsuits, albeit with slightly different rules governing the lawsuits. Governmental entities are accountable civilly for their failure to protect children from sexual abuse just the same as any other private entity. Parents of schoolchildren who are the victims of sexual abuse can file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the school.