• Sexual Assault and Misconduct
  • Report
  • K-12

Educator Sexual Misconduct at Independent Schools: Insights From UE Claims

Melanie Bennett, Esq., ARM-E
April 2021

Why Read This

Reports of sexual misconduct by educators at independent schools continue to receive national attention, leading to significant growth in expectations about how schools will handle reports of wrongdoing. Parents, students, and alumni increasingly expect independent schools to have a comprehensive strategy for addressing educator sexual misconduct.

United Educators (UE) reviewed the 45 educator sexual misconduct claims reported by independent schools between 2011 and 2016 to identify trends and derive lessons. Review the claims study and its supplemental resources to learn how to create a strategy for addressing educator sexual misconduct.

Key Takeaways

  • Nearly half (40%) of the claims studied resulted in a financial loss to the member institution and UE, with the average claim costing $343,000. Settlements paid to student victims accounted for most of the losses.
  • Educator sexual misconduct is a serious issue confronting independent schools. Yet there are concrete steps that can mitigate potential misconduct.
  • Schools can permanently stop some perpetrators of educator sexual misconduct at the boundary-violation stage by establishing consistent educator-student boundary enforcement.
  • To better identify and remove predatory educators, create an environment that encourages reporting.

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