Teacher Abuse Laws Involving Students

Los Angeles attorney Mike Ehline

When a teacher violates the rights of a student or endangers the student’s safety or well-being, this can be considered teacher abuse of a student. State and federal laws are strict in their regulation standards, which teachers are theoretically guided by. The teacher that conducts themselves in a way that violates the educational standards can face both civil and criminal penalties.


Teacher abuse does not commonly occur, however it does happen. Students might not be aware that they have been mistreated, especially younger students. It is essential that both students and their parents are aware of any situations that could be considered abusive.


What is Teacher—Student Abuse?


There are many forms of student abuse and not all of them include physical contact by the teacher. The common situations that involve abuse of a student by a teacher include:


  • Discrimination, which certain categories are protected, gender, disability, and race.
  • Physical, emotional, and sexual harassment of the student.
  • Restricting constitutional rights of the student, which can include freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
  • Unauthorized or excessive use of “corporal punishment” or physical force.
  • Unfair academic treatment, which can include preferential grading or bias.
  • Denying educational opportunities.
  • Failing to address special needs of a student, including handicap access.


One of the largest problems with student abuse by a teacher, is that many students, especially young charges might not be aware or recognize if corruption or maltreatment is occurring or not. It is crucial for parents to be involved in their child’s education and to listen when a child speaks of any situation occurring at school that involves any type of ill-treatment at their school.


What should be done when your child has Suffered Mistreatment at School?


When you believe that your child has suffered abuse at school by a teacher or other educational employee or worker there are steps that can be taken by the parent, including:

  • Contact school officials and the school board immediately, and schedule an emergency meeting. This is crucial, while the incident is still fresh in your child’s mind. Delaying contacting school officials and scheduling a meeting as soon as possible, can affect a future claim negatively.
  • It is important for parents to know the school policies and regulations concerning teacher conduct. Ask if the school district has had incidents of student abuse and what was done.
  • The parent that suspect’s teacher abuse occurred should request that the school district conduct an investigation into the incident. Request that the individual investigating provide you with a written report and formal explanation of their findings in the incident.


Should the school board not address the problem with an adequate solution, a choice you may be left with is to filed for an investigation with a government agency, like the Department of Education. This agency will conduct an investigation of the alleged abuse and determine corrective measures, when appropriate. When you believe that the government investigation is not sufficient, another choice will be to file a civil lawsuit to for injuries, to recover losses and hold the negligent parties accountable.

In the state of California the student’s safety is a priority and if you suspect your child has suffered abuse file an accurate and timely report of the incident. In some cases it is required that the victim, or parent file with a government agency prior to filing a civil lawsuit. Depending on the abuse incident, criminal charges may also be involved. If your nestling tells of any type of incident that may be teacher—student abuse, take it seriously. There are no penalties for filing a report with the school district or government agency, alleging teacher—student abuse. The student’s safety is California’s main concern in the educational setting.


If My Child was Abused by a Teacher, do I need an Attorney?


Should you suspect that your child was abused by an educator, or faculty member in any way, you should contact academy officials immediately. When the situation is dangerous for your child, you may also want to contact the police and consult an attorney for advice. A legal representative can assist you in filing a claim, if that should become   required. The experienced attorney will be able to explain the range of laws that govern teachers in the public educational institutions.

More Sources: Child Abuse Information from Ehline Law Firm PC: http://losangeles.ehlinelaw.com/child-abuse-molestation-injury/