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Why Sexual Abuse in California Schools Like MacLaren Hall Goes Unreported
The extent of the problem in America’s schools is impossible to quantify because no national database tracks instances of sexual abuse of students by employees in K-12 public or private schools.
California school administrators, teachers, and staff are lawfully required to alert authorities to suspicions about sexual abuse of underage students.
But in school districts across Southern California, some educators are ignoring that duty, choosing to keep things quiet rather than “ruin the lives” of co-workers and suffer the mark of bad publicity.
So, underaged victims of sexual abuse are settling lawsuits with school districts that have cost taxpayers more than $313 million in the past seven years.
Check out these statistics connecting sexual misconduct to California public and private schools.
- 1 in 10 students will experience sexual misconduct from a school official by the time they graduate from high school.
- Locations of sexual abuse against students include at school or during school events (53%), outside of school (53%), and online (19%).
- The perpetrators are typically male (67%), and white (78%), with an average age of 36 years old.
- Positions that are typically perpetrators of sexual abuse include general education teachers (68%), coaches (21%), and music/art teachers (9%).
The Southern California News Group studied nearly 1,900 pages of documents and more than 100 hours of recorded police interviews to reveal a more than a decade-long pattern of covered sex abuse allegations.
Details of Recent Notable Sexual Abuse Cases Against MacLaren Children’s Center
MacLaren Hall, also called Mac Hall, was an institution for children in Los Angeles, California that housed over 4,000 juvenile children and non-delinquent minors.
In 2003, it closed in disgrace, and some of its former inhabitants began speaking out about sexual abuse at the facility.
Children frequently ran away, violence was common, and the facility was notoriously overcrowded.
Many reports by former residents of over-medication, beatings, restraints, confinement to a small punishment room, rape, and other forms of sexual assault make Mac Hall a supposedly dangerous and traumatizing place.
Two women, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 in a lawsuit filed against Los Angeles County, are now 54 and 61 years old, respectively–they allege that while housed at MacLaren they were subjected to forced vaginal intercourse, oral sex, digital penetration, groping and other sexual abuses.
In its lawsuit to close down MacLaren, ACLU accused Los Angeles County and the State of California of several broad failures at MacLaren Hall, including:
- Children in need of mental health treatment received no appropriate treatment or only treatment once per week
- Over-reliance on MacLaren Hall as a semi-permanent rather than temporary housing unit
- Lack of professional training for MacLaren Hall’s staff and other social workers
- Favoring money-saving decisions over those in the best interests of children
- Merely documenting the mental health needs of children rather than focusing on providing care
The National Justice Assistance team believes that childhood victims of sexual abuse and the families that suffered as well should be able to address Maclaren Hall Children’s Center and get compensation.
Our network of attorneys have a track record of success.
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