Any time a school official is aware of an allegation of abuse by a teacher or other school personnel, they are legally obligated to report it to the proper authorities. When those actions are not taken or an official tries to cover up a report of abuse, there may be legal consequences involved. Colorado school employees and district personnel may want to follow a recent story of a wrongful termination suit filed by school employees who say they lost their job because they knew a district official tried to cover up a claim of abuse.
The case came about as a 4-year-old accused a teacher of inappropriate touching. Three district employees allege that the superintendent and the former superintendent both acted to cover up the allegations of abuse. The employees contend the district leaders lied to police officials investigating the case and concealed emails regarding the claims. Both superintendents deny any such actions.
The three employees who have brought the wrongful termination suit against the district all say they were fired, transferred or pushed to resign because they knew details of the attempt to conceal the abuse. The current superintendent has been suspended for charges of misconduct and failure to report the alleged assault. The former superintendent also faces charges.
While many cases of abuse can become a she said, he said situation for the criminal court system, the act of wrongful termination may be provable in court based on evidence. Any time an employee feels they have been wrongfully terminated from a position because they came forward with valuable information or knew of an internal cover up of criminal activity, they have rights and deserve to be protected. In Colorado, parties who prove wrongful termination may be able to seek back wages or even get their job back.
Source: Lacey, NJ Patch, “Brower Sued For Wrongful Termination After Alleged Sex Abuse Cover-Up,” Tom Davis, July 24, 2013