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Last month, a California school principal was convicted of failing to report a teacher who had been accused of sexually abusing young female students, one as young as 8 years old.

After a short trial, a jury convicted Lyn Vijayendran, former principal of O.B. Whaley Elementary School. While acting principal, Vijayendran was a mandatory reporter and was required to report any reasonably suspected case of child sex abuse.

The case revolved around an elementary teacher, Craig Chandler, who was accused of sexually abusing a young female student. As it turns out, three months prior, in October, 2011, Vijayendran had confronted the teacher about sexually abusing another young female. According to the principal’s own notes from that meeting, Chandler blindfolded the girl, had her lay down, asked her to open her legs and put something in her mouth. However, instead of reporting Chandler, Vijayendran did nothing and later said she believed his explanations.

California’s Penal Code: A School Principal’s Failure to Report a Reasonably Suspected Case of Child Sex Abuse

Under California’s penal code, Section 11166.01, a school supervisor or administrator who fails to report a reasonably suspected case of child sex abuse is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine or both.  Under the statute, “reasonable suspicion” is defined when:

“[it is] objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. “Reasonable suspicion” does not require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred nor does it require a specific medical indication of child abuse or neglect; any “reasonable suspicion” is sufficient.”

More School Sex Abuse Legal Articles:

School Sex Abuse Lawyer in Pennsylvania & New Jersey – Representation by a Former Sex Crimes Unit Prosecutor

Laffey, Bucci & Kent handles school sex abuse cases in the Northeast area with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  Firm founder, Brian Kent, is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor and is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The firm has the resources and experience to handle school sex abuse cases in all states and welcomes calls from local counsel about potential cases. Click To Call

Source: www.mercurynews.com, San Jose principal convicted of failing to report suspected teacher sex abuse, 11/5/12