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Brighton High School grad files suit against district to highlight sexual abuse by teachers

Democrat and Chronicle

On Tuesday the former student, Tara Yellen, filed a lawsuit against the Brighton Central School District, accusing it of failing to protect her from the alleged predation of its former teacher, Gary Alan Wiener.

Yellen, now 47, said she is suing to bring attention to teacher-student sexual abuse. 

"This was so damaging to me. I know I’m not alone. I know this type of abuse devastated and continues to devastate so many other people. I need people to understand how insidious this type of abuse really is," Yellen said in an interview.

The story of predatory teachers forging abusive relationships with vulnerable students who are legally and emotionally unable to consent is an old one. In recent decades, most people have come to believe that such interactions are both illegal and immoral and should not be tolerated.

But Yellen said they still happen.

Vincent Nappo, one of Yellen's lawyers, said the legal team suspects that school administrators were aware that Wiener was in an improper relationship with a student.

"“We believe the school knew, or certainly should have known, that Mr. Wiener was sexually abusing Tara because of the inordinate amount of time they spent together alone, both in and out of school, for over two years, which is a major red flag of teacher-student abuse," he said in written comments.

"We do not yet know if Mr. Wiener abused other students at Brighton High School, but we know, having litigated abuse cases against schools for over 20 years, abusers often prey on multiple victims, particularly when they are left in positions of power working closely with youth over multiple decades, as was the case here," Nappo added.

Find more information online here.

Filed Under  Campus Sexual Assault  Child Victims Act (CVA)  Childhood Sexual Abuse  News 
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