Special needs students in public schools have every right to be educated and supervised based on these special needs. Close and consistent supervision are key ingredients to the safety and welfare of these students. A tragic sexual assault took place at the Kanapaha Middle School in Gainesville, Florida. While a teacher stepped out of the classroom leaving no other teachers or school staff in place for supervision, a 14 year old special needs child was raped. In fact, one boy raped the girl while another held her down. These criminal acts took place while in the Alachua County School System during the school day during day light hours. Certainly, this reprehensible act of violence and abuse of the 14 year old girl would never have happened with a teacher or other adult the classroom. The Alachua County School District is liable for the actions and inactions of its teachers. While the teacher did not want this event to happen, the teacher negligently created an unsupervised environment that the incident did happen. Under Florida Statutes, the Alachua County School Board can be placed on formal notice for negligence and related damages and personal injuries. Then after the expiration of the formal notice period, the Alachua County School Board can be sued.
It is unfortunate that the school, school board, and teacher learned a lesson out of this tragedy. That lesson is that 10 minutes of missing or neglectful supervision can leave to a traumatic event that a 14 year old girl will need to live with for the rest of her life.
You can read more about this story at Alachua County (Gainesville) Florida Special Needs Child Raped in Classroom by Another Student.