Chicago, IL - According to a recent Chicago Sun-Times article, the families of nine elementary school girls who were molested by a band teacher in a suburban school district have been awarded $3.5 million.
The band teacher pleaded guilty four years ago to kidnapping and sexually abusing more than 20 girls. The lawsuit claimed that one of the school's principals was aware of the alleged activities, did not report the abuse, and hid evidence from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Local police reportedly found letters from school officials during a search of the band teacher's residence warning him to stop inappropriately touching students.
This story may not be so much about the perpetrator as it is about school practices for handling allegations. I think school communities would rather know about potentially serious issues and how they are being addressed than find out about them after "damage control" efforts fail.
What kind of thoughts does this story bring to mind? How could this lawsuit have been avoided? What practices do you have in place to guard against this kind of situation?