A group of parents of fifth-grade students at Weaver Elementary School in Los Alamitos are upset with the school district after becoming aware of sleeping arrangements during a trip to a science camp organized by the school. According to the parents, their daughters told them that some of the biologically male camp counselors who use they/them pronouns slept in the same cabins as the girls for three nights.
According to the parents, they are not accusing anyone of committing a crime; rather, they are upset that the school district did not inform them of camp policy – which places camp staff in the cabins according to the gender that they identify with. The parents apparently want others to be informed of the camp policy prior to these trips to allow families to make their own decisions – rather than being blindsided like they were.
The parents, of course, have a valid point. They should have been informed of the policy to be able to make their own decision – some parents claim that they would have kept their children home if they had been aware of the policy.
The assistant director of the camp stated that they follow California law and place staff in the cabins that they identify with. In fact, the camp released a statement claiming that the camp is an equal opportunity employer that is proud to have core values that include diversity and inclusion which also apply to the students that visit the camp. A spokesperson for the cam also addressed the allegations made by the parents and stated that there weren’t any biologically male counselors in the shared cabins with the female students. In addition, they highlighted the fact that some of their counselors may have used they/them pronouns but that these pronouns are used by both biological males and females alike.
So, what’s the issue? The major issue here is that the school failed to inform parents of the camp’s policy. There is nothing wrong with the camp’s policy, just like there is nothing wrong with parents wanting to keep their kids safe.
Fortunately, no kids were harmed in this specific situation.
What Could Have Happened?
In the worst-case scenario, the pre-teen girls could have suffered some sort of sexual assault at the hands of the camp counselors – regardless of whether the counselors were male or female. This could have resulted in physical, mental, and emotional harm to the students which could, without a doubt, have lasting consequences.
Who Could Be Responsible?
In the case of sexual assault, there is no doubt that the camp could be responsible – for negligent hiring, negligent supervising, etc. However, the school that organized the trip could also be liable. School districts have a duty to keep their students safe both on and off campus (so yes, they have a duty to keep students safe during sleep away camps organized by the school). Schools should never expose students to potentially risky situations.
Let’s consider other situations in which schools have to notify parents and get their written consent prior to a certain activity. This is the norm for certain films or even certain topics entirely. Parents essentially have the option to either allow their kids to participate or opt-out entirely (the kids are sent elsewhere during the activity). This allows parents to stay in control of what their kids are exposed to.
Of course, the parents had to consent to their students going to the science camp; however, because the school was not transparent with parents, then the parents did not really know what they were consenting to (as previously mentioned, some parents stated that they wouldn’t have sent their kids if they had been aware of the sleeping arrangements).
In this specific situation, the school district is to blame – and parents could definitely have grounds to take legal action if any students are actually harmed.
Class Action Lawsuit
In a situation where multiple students are harmed parents could come together to take action against the liable party or entity. Could you file a lawsuit? Yes, you could file a lawsuit. In fact, you could be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit against the school. If you are interested in learning more about your right to participate in a class action lawsuit after your daughter or your son was harmed in any way due to the negligence of a school or a school district, you can trust the experts here at our law firm to provide you with the guidance that you need to sue. Our lawyers can help you take legal action against the school or school district to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Contact us immediately.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group
Here at our law firm, we are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to file your class action lawsuit. Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with decades of experience handling all sorts of claims. We are not afraid to take on any party or entity to help our clients fight for their rights and recover the compensation that they are owed. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with the experts at our law firm, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our lawyers are ready to help you win.
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