Usually a school is thought of as a safe haven where students are protected from the types predators who roam outside the campus. Sometimes, however, the danger to students can come from within.
At Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida, the track and football coach was arrested recently on misdemeanor battery charges, accused of groping one student and biting another, according to records.
James “Andre” Thaddies, 40, was arrested on March 3. According to school police two female students reported Thaddies touched them inappropriately without their permission. One track student reported Thaddies tried to touch her, she resisted, and he then grabbed her by the wrist and called her “retarded.” The second student said that Thaddies bit her in the neck area, but did not break skin, according to the report.
The Palm Beach County school district assigned Thaddies administrative duties and no longer allowed him to teach students, effective Feb. 24. The Atlantic High football team, under Thaddies, enjoyed winning seasons.
Thaddies, it appears, had a suspected background of inappropriate conduct with female students at a Minnesota high school where similar accusations were made. According to Minnesota court documents filed in 2000, Thaddies, admitted to providing alcohol to an underaged gil and resigned after being suspended. Police investigated, but Thaddies was not charged with any sexual misconduct.
High schools in the State of Florida have the legal duty to investigate the background of teachers and other potential employees who may be in contact with their students. This is because teachers and administrators stand in the shoes of the parents while a minor student is on school grounds. Mandatory schooling has forced parents into relying on teachers to protect children during school activity. Accordingly, where the school fails to adequately investigate the background of a school teacher or administrator who abuses a student on school grounds, the school may be liable for negligent hiring and/or supervision.
With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.
All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.