It is well known that child sexual predators seek out jobs and activities that place them in close contact with children.  As a result, institutions that cater to children – such as schools — have a duty to recognize this, and to carefully screen and monitor any adults placed in close contact with children.

The website recently reported about the arrest of Andrew Bayard, 32, on charges of traveling to meet a child for purposes of sex, and for transmitting sexual material to a minor.  It has been alleged that Mr. Bayard has started a relationship with a young girl who was in one of his classes when he taught at Suntree Elementary, in Brevard County.

Yes, that’s Suntree ELEMENTARY school…

Apparently, the young girl had moved, but Mr. Bayard starting texting her.  He thought he had arranged to meet her for sex, but he was really texting with a Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy.

There are several disturbing aspects to this story for me, as a Florida child sexual abuse attorney.  The first is the age of the child.

Second, it appears that Mr. Bayard has been employed at several schools in Brevard County over the last several years –  Kennedy Middle School, Suntree Elementary School, and Viera High School.

In our experience handling child sexual abuse cases, it is extremely rare for child sexual predators to have only one victim.  It is therefore very likely that Mr. Bayard was having, or had had, relationships with other students at those schools.

If school officials had any inkling that Mr. Bayard was having inappropriate relationships with students, or if they had any reason to know (even if they didn’t have actual knowledge) then the Brevard County Schools could be held liable for any damages suffered by these children.  A school system has a duty to supervise its teachers and staff members and to make sure that it is not employing people who are trying to do bad things to kids.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s rights when it comes to a potential child sexual abuse case in any setting, especially schools, please contact Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444 to have all of your questions answered.

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