When the leader of an organization that is designed to serve children finds out that parents are complaining about a worker inappropriately touching or molesting the children, it is probably wise for the leader of the organization to remove the suspected adult from the children before any more harm can be done. When this doesn’t happen, the entire organization can be held liable for the damages caused by the abuser under the legal theory of negligent supervision.
This appears to be the situation facing the Lake County School Board. Several Central Florida media outlets recently ran stories about Treadway Elementary School in the Leesburg area. According to media reports, the principal at Treadway was made aware of allegations of inappropriate touching by a school volunteer named Mark Griffin. Instead of immediately removing Mr. Griffin from the children in her school, the principal apparently told him to “keep his hands in his pocket” and not to touch or hug students.
You can probably guess where this story is headed. Lake County law enforcement has now arrested Mr. Griffin and charged him with 107 counts of molestation, and child pornography. Most shocking are charges that Mr. Griffin sexually abused two 9-year old girls at his home in Bassville. Both girls apparently attend Treadway.
As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I know that anytime a principal receives word that any worker under her direction or supervision has been accused of inappropriate touching or molestation, she needs to take such accusation very seriously and needs to take some kind of action. By not taking action when she could have and should have, the principal at Treadway may have opened up the Lake County School Board to liability for Mr. Griffin’s abusive acts. This could mean paying for medical bills and psychological counseling, as well as mental anguish. Unfortunately, the two girls mentioned above may not be the only victims. Sexual predators rarely leave a trail of only one or two victims.
If you have any questions about a Florida sexual abuse claim, or allegations of negligent touching, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Bob Hemphill at 407-644-4444.