We would all like to think that our kids are safe at school. After all, there is adult supervision round the clock and the teachers and staff members have their best interest at heart. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Children suffer abuse at schools from fellow students, and even worse, from those they are entrusted to: principals, teachers, coaches, bus drivers and other personnel.

In January, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), quoting a figure from a U.S. Department of Education report, stated that as of 2004 one in every ten students was subject to inappropriate sexual conduct from school personnel. This report is the most current information available on the matter, which in itself says a lot.

Students, particularly those with special needs, also face physical and verbal abuse from school personnel. A 2009 GAO report highlighted five case studies in which school children had suffered as a result of being secluded for extended periods or restrained in such a manner as to cause grievous bodily harm and mental trauma, and sadly in two of the cases, death.

Although the school districts have taken progressive measures to handle abuse by personnel, it is hardly adequate. Most of these aggressors get off with just a slap on the wrist and are even allowed back to the school after being sent on a mandatory, albeit brief, administrative leave.

Bullying, in all its forms, is also very common in both public and private schools. The statistics are worrying with 1 in every 7 students being a victim or a perpetrator of bullying. We have all seen the results of bullying - from shootings at school to victims who commit suicide.

It is the responsibility of the school district to protect your child all forms of abuse and most states have such laws. Should your child experience sexual abuse or bullying, talk to an attorney immediately. You will need to get an education and administrative attorney or an attorney with experience in handling such lawsuits to represent you both in court and at administrative meetings.

It takes such firm measures to ensure that no other child is harmed in a place they are supposed to be safe. A recent landmark ruling on a bullying case where the victim committed suicide, has allowed the parents to file a suit against his school district for failing to protect him. This gives both precedence and hope that you can also get justice for your child and protection from the similar injustices for other children.

Do not suffer in silence. You shouldn’t let the abuse go on.