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Calif. Supreme Court: School districts liable for hiring molesters

California supreme court

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The California Supreme Court says districts like one in Santa Clarita have a duty to protect children and should have taken action in a 2007 case with wide-reaching implications today.

The California Supreme Court ruled today that a school district can be held liable for administrators who hire or supervise an employee who molests children.

The ruling, reported by the AP, overturns an appellate court decision that upheld dismissing a lawsuit filed by a student who was sexually molested by a guidance counselor at a Santa Clarita high school during eight months in 2007.

This decision comes at a time when Los Angeles Unified School District is facing dozens of lawsuits involving a former Miramonte Elementary School teacher who is charged with 23 counts of lewd acts upon a child.

In recent weeks there have been a flurry of reported misconduct cases at various schools throughout the nation's second-largest district.

Superintendent John Deasy and a district spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

A school district has a duty to protect children and should have taken steps against the counselor after finding out about her sexual misconduct history, the court said.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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