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School Violence & Education Law

Justice for students. Adams Law represents students in public and private schools, boarding schools, colleges, and universities  in federal and state lawsuits and before administrative agencies in cases involving hazing injury, hazing death, Title IX complaints, severe bullying, sexual assault, and rape.

When Schools Fail

When families send children to school, they trust that their loved ones will be provided safe environments to learn and grow academically, emotionally and socially. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Individuals who create and implement educational policies affect school culture and shape the climate where students are required to attend school under compulsory education laws. When administrators and staff ignore, acquiesce to or participate in fostering a culture of violence, vulnerable students can suffer great harm. Administrators who protect wrongdoers or conceal information fail in their obligation to provide a safe school climate for students to thrive. They marginalize the voices of victims and should be held accountable. The Adams Law Firm can help.

Elizabeth Adams is well versed in the intersection of school law and special education law, students’ rights under Title IX, tort law, and victim’s rights. As lead counsel in numerous lawsuits, administrative and due process hearings and mediations, The Adams Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of students, demanded policy changes to protect students’ rights, and established legal precedents that provide stronger protections for children in schools.

Title IX

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

So, what does this mean? Under Title IX, schools that receive Federal funding must ensure that all students have equal access to education, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of gender discrimination that are prohibited by Title IX. Violations may include incidents that occur off-campus or involve perpetrators who are not students. Title IX also offers protections for victims against retaliation by their accusers or those acting on their behalf.

If you are a student or employee of an educational institution who has experienced sexual discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or rape in a school, contact Adams Law to learn about your rights.

School Injuries

When parents send their children to school, they often take for granted that they will be properly supervised and that their environment will be safe from dangerous conditions. Of course, children may be injured as the result of an incident that does not involve negligence or wrongdoing. If your child suffers preventable harm because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, however, you may have a claim. Compensation is often necessary to provide a family with financial resources to obtain proper care for a child after such an injury. In addition, students may need accommodations to enable them to access their education after suffering an injury. We can help.

If your child was seriously injured on the playground, while playing sports, in the school setting or on the bus, contact Adams Law to learn about your options.

Hazing & Bullying

Hazing occurs when an individual is required to engage in any activity that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them before they are permitted full acceptance into the group, such as a fraternity, sorority, sports team, youth organization or club. Such activity is hazing regardless of an individual’s apparent willingness to participate. Hazing is often ritualistic, frightening and cruel. What may start off as a simple ritual or tradition of drinking, sexualized hazing, sleep deprivation, public humiliation, or harassment can lead to devastating consequences such as severe distress or trauma, lifelong injuries or even death.

Studies have shown that 1 in 5 high school students have experienced hazing and more than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations have experienced hazing. Such incidents are rarely reported, however, because of social pressure and fear of group rejection.

Bullying can likewise cause significant psychological or physical harm where vulnerable students are subjected to repeated verbal or physical abuse, threats, intimidation or humiliation, causing the victim to experience a severe and pervasive fear of violence. State laws require the implementation of policies to remedy patterns of bullying, whether on campus or online, that impact the educational environment. Teachers and administrators sometimes fail in their obligation to implement these policies, ignoring or even acquiescing to acts of bullying.

If you or a loved one have suffered physical or psychological injuries as the result of hazing or bullying or are presently seeking protection from your school from hazing or bullying without success, contact Adams Law for a confidential consultation to explore and discuss your legal options.

How Can We Help?

If you or a loved one have been harmed as a student or an employee of an educational institution, please contact us.

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