School Violence Expert Witness Opines on Inappropriate Sexual Relationship

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on December 21, 2017

School Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves an inappropriate sexual relationship between a student and a teacher at a public high school. The Plaintiff alleged that she had been manipulated and forced into a relationship that involved sexual activities. In addition, the administration of the school district was allegedly aware of numerous reports regarding the activities that have taken place. The Plaintiff claimed that the school district should have taken more precautionary measures to prevent such incidents to occur in addition to subsequent measures to investigate the matter further. The victim continues to suffer negative consequences from the relationship, requiring ongoing therapy and mental support.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What policies are set in place to ensure the safety of the student population?
  • 2. Are sexual relationships between student and faculty appropriate in any setting?
  • 3. What are necessary steps after hearing of reported incidents of sexual activity between a student and faculty?

Expert Witness Response

I have over thirty years of relevant experience across dozens of states. I have dealt with similar matters in the past. I was responsible for reviewing the employment, training, supervision and evaluations of the staff involved, as well as any other staff members who may have been mandatory reporters. In addition I reviewed the policies and procedures and safety measures in place. Obviously, the relationship described here is highly inappropriate, and there are a number of structural faults in the school’s reporting and prevention mechanisms if it was allowed to develop in the manner described above. There is always a concern that students can be exploited by faculty members, which requires close screening of new hires as well as observation of current staff.

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