Every parent wants to protect their child from danger. Child sexual predators flock to where the kids are. Sexual abuse in private schools occurs more often than you may think for that reason.

Private schools are not regulated on the local and state level as extensively as public schools. That means fewer reporting requirements, potentially underestimating the number of child sex abuse cases. Because private schools receive their money from tuition and donors as opposed to public funding, administrators may prove reluctant to pursue sexual abuse allegations.

The Catholic Church runs many private schools. The Church has also experienced numerous child sex abuse scandals. Many times, the problem was dealt with by simply assigning the offender to another parish, where the cycle could start anew.

If you were a victim of sexual abuse in private school, or you suspect your child was abused, contact an experienced sexual abuse lawyer at Showard Law Firm. We handle these matters with compassion and sensitivity. Schedule a free and confidential consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or submitting our online form.

Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Signs of potential child sex abuse vary according to age and the individual situation. In young children, such signs may include:

  • Anxiety – Separation anxiety is common in young children, but they usually adjust in a reasonable amount of time. If severe separation anxiety recurs after the child grows out of it, something is troubling them.
  • Bedwetting – Toilet-trained children may have occasional accidents. However, if the child was well-trained and is now soiling the bed frequently, it is vital to get to the bottom of it. Of course, bedwetting does not necessarily mean the child experienced sexual abuse, but there is some issue causing stress.
  • Nightmares – Children have bad dreams once in a while. If the nightmares happen regularly, ask your child to describe the dreams in as much detail as possible.

If the child starts playing sexual games with other children or uses words you never taught them about body parts, that is a red flag.

Older children may develop mood swings, suffer from eating disorders, or begin using alcohol or drugs.  They may begin cutting or otherwise injuring themselves. It may not seem that way, but this is a cry for help.

Private Schools

In Arizona, private schools are defined as nonpublic institutions, “other than the child’s home, where academic instruction is provided for at least the same number of days and hours each year as a public school.” There are no state requirements for accreditation, licensing, registration, or approval.

Private schools run the gamut, from nursery schools to boarding schools. While all children are vulnerable to sexual predators, it is especially true of those in nursery school or pre-K programs.

No private school is safe, no matter how prestigious. Some of the country’s most elite boarding schools, such as Connecticut’s Choate Rosemary Hall and the Horace Mann School in New York City, were found to have long histories of sexual predation. In many cases, these molestations continued for decades. The students came and went, but the predatory staff remained.

Private schools are supposed to run background checks on employees, but it is possible a predator applying for a job was never previously caught. It is also possible they were suspected of such actions but were simply allowed to leave prior employment.

Child Sexual Predators

Because their behavior is so criminal and despicable, many people make the mistake of thinking they would recognize signs of depravity in a child sexual predator. Unfortunately, many predators appear perfectly normal. Child sex predators in a private school setting may include:

  • Teachers
  • Teacher’s aides
  • Coaches and assistants
  • Administrators
  • Other employees
  • Volunteers

Priests, ministers, and rabbis at religious schools are among those known to have sexually abused children.

Public schools generally have stricter security measures than private facilities. Faith-based private schools may have more people on the premises without background checks coming and going.

Child on Child Abuse

Predators are not always adults. Sexual abusers are sometimes fellow students. Abuse may occur in the lavatories, on the school bus, or in boarding schools, during the night.

In such situations, not only does the abused child need help, but so does the abuser.

Private School Cover-ups

Private school administrators may learn about the abuse, but decide to deal with it internally. In essence, they are covering up the allegations to protect the reputation of their school. “Dealing it with internally” is sometimes a euphemism for not conducting a thorough investigation, not informing the parent, and not calling the police.

Perhaps the school will terminate the alleged perpetrator’s employment should they work at the school. Perhaps they will do nothing, and the predator will continue to harm children.

Contact a Tucson Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Showard Law Firm is committed to protecting the rights of victims of private school sexual abuse, while holding those responsible for such abuse liable.

We invite you to contact us anytime, 24/7, for a complimentary, completely confidential consultation. You pay no fee unless you receive compensation.


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