Students who are sexually abused by school employees may sue public districts if their administrators ignored warning signs or failed to monitor the employees, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.
The state high court's ruling revived a lawsuit against the William S. Hart Union High School District by a student who alleged that a counselor repeatedly abused him sexually.
The suit said that school administrators knew or should have known that the counselor, Roselyn Hubbell, had a propensity for sexual abuse when they hired her at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clarita.
Hubbell, whom the district fired, eventually was arrested at a motel with another boy and charged with a misdemeanor.
School principals and other supervisors "have the responsibility of taking reasonable measures to guard pupils against harassment and abuse from foreseeable sources, including any teachers or counselors they know or have reason to know are prone to such abuse," Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the court.