Alleged School District Negligence in Preventing Sexual Assault on School Buses

This case study examines a school district's alleged negligence in preventing sexual assault on school buses, focusing on the lack of effective policies and training.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 8, 2024

School bus stopped on road

Case Overview

This case involves a female student who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by an older male student during their bus rides to and from school. The incidents, which occurred more than once, were captured on video during one of the instances.

The plaintiff alleges that the school district demonstrated negligence by allowing older students to sit with much younger ones, thereby failing to prevent sexual assault. Furthermore, it is claimed that the district did not ensure that drivers were adequately trained on standard protocols for spotting, reporting, and preventing such assaults. An expert in school transportation policies has been sought to review the case and comment on the necessary policies and procedures to prevent similar occurrences.

Questions to the Education Administration expert and their responses


Can you describe your experience creating, overseeing, and/or enforcing school transportation policies, specifically as it relates to public school bus safety if applicable?

I have several decades of experience in school administration. As Assistant Principal at a large high school, I played a significant role in implementing numerous policies aimed at preventing sexual assault within the school premises and on school buses.

I also ensured that all employees responsible for children's oversight were thoroughly trained and educated on these policies.


Briefly, what policies and training standards exist to prevent sexual assault on school buses?

Policies and training standards should primarily focus on hiring qualified bus drivers and transportation supervisors who have clean criminal background checks. Training should be provided on recognizing signs of sexual assault and reporting them promptly.

Additionally, guidelines should be established for seating students from different grade levels on the bus. A minimum number of safety trainings should be mandated, along with comprehensive understanding and training on reasonable student supervisory duties and practices.

About the expert

This expert boasts over three decades of experience in education and school administration, with a strong academic background including a BS in Physical Education and both an MS and PhD in Educational Administration. They have held significant positions such as Assistant Principal, Associate Professor, Department Head, and Chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at renowned universities. Currently serving as a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at a public research university, they are widely published, active in professional organizations, and have received numerous grants for their work, making them highly qualified to provide insights into school transportation policies.

Expert headshot


About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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