Recently, former Manatee High School Assistant Football Coach Rod Frazier was accused of inappropriately touching students and faculty. One of the female student victims, our client, wrote a letter to the school informing them of the incidents, which included:
- Being touched inappropriately and groped by Frazier multiple times
- Getting hundreds of text messages from Frazier, even some during class
- Receiving a text message from Frazier asking her to send him nude pictures of herself
In this video posted by the Bradenton Herald, Damian and Alice Kaddatz, the mother of Frazier's victim, speak out about the case:
Unfortunately, school officials did not report our client’s accusations. Not only is it a felony to fail to report child abuse, but children and teens who come forward about such horrific incidents need to know they can turn to authorities for help. Sadly, in our client’s situation, this was not the case. Thankfully, our client and her mother pressed on to seek justice. As a result, a police investigation was opened by the Bradenton Police Department, and Rod Frazier was the focus of a criminal case.
Although Frazier recently took a plea deal—allowing him to avoid jail time—he will never again be allowed to teach or coach in Florida public schools for the rest of his life. While this helps give our client some small amount of justice, knowing that no other student will be harmed by him, it is outrageous just how many football coaches and school staff members have been accused and charged with indecent acts on students.
Inappropriate Touching Is Sexual Abuse
While many people tend associate the term sexual abuse with the forceful act of intercourse, sexual abuse of a child can also include being inappropriately touched. In fact, sexual abuse often begins with inappropriate touching, fondling, and groping.
It’s a sad realization that many children throughout Florida have been sexually abused at daycares, preschools, elementary schools, and even at high schools. While sexual abuse at school can involve any gender and any age—even child on child abuse—it generally involves an adult inappropriately touching or harming a child or minor.
The Reality of Student Sexual Abuse
Every weekday morning, parents send their children and teenagers off to school to learn—in what is assumed to be a safe environment—never thinking that their children may become victims of sexual abuse. The harsh reality is that child sexual abuse can occur just about anywhere, including schools. Unfortunately, what was once thought of as a safe environment, schools are now a common location of sexual abuse incidents.
Students who are victims of sexual abuse are often left with physical, mental, and emotional problems that can sometimes stay with them for life. Sadly, abuse by a school employee can rob a student victim of ever having a normal school experience. Unfortunately, the effects of abuse are harmful and devastating for student victims.
If your child has been inappropriately touched by a coach, teacher, or other school employee, you need to arm yourself with the right information in order to take the correct steps and protect your child from further harm. You can this information by ordering our free book When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.