Attorneys for Survivors of J.R.O.T.C. Sexual Abuse
An article published by the New York Times reveals that a shocking number of former students say that military veterans who led Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (J.R.O.T.C.) programs in high schools across the country used their position of power to manipulate and sexually abuse teens. The article details the stories of a handful of young women from underprivileged communities who in an effort to better their lives sought out the military values provided by their high schools’ J.R.O.T.C. program. Unfortunately for these young women, their experience with J.R.O.T.C did not lead to a path towards a promising future. Instead, they found themselves subject to exploitation by the instructors who ran their local programs.
Typically, J.R.O.T.C. classes are offered as electives during the regular school day. Endorsed by school officials, these classes can motivate students who struggle with direction and discipline. The New York Times examined thousands of court documents, investigative files, and other records obtained through more than 150 public disclosure requests. The research uncovered that the program has recurrently become a place where retired military officers prey on vulnerable teenage students.
The New York Times has found that in the past five years at least 33 J.R.O.C. instructors have faced criminal charges of sexual misconduct involving students. This rate is considerably higher than civilian high school teachers in the examined jurisdictions. Several other instructors in the program have been accused of misconduct but have not been charged.
While the senior military veterans who lead J.R.O.T.C. programs are certified by the U.S. military, they are deployed to high school classrooms with little oversight and limited teacher training. J.R.O.T.C. instructors are not required to have a teaching certificate or college degree by many states that utilize the program. It is left to the schools to supervise the instructors and investigate complaints, but since these programs operate on the margins of their campuses, many struggle to adequately monitor these programs.
The nature of J.R.O.T.C. provides instructors a surprisingly level of access to the children they mentor. Often, the program operates with its own facilities and classrooms. Students also frequently take part in after-school, weekend, and out-of-state activities. This can lead to instructors sometimes driving students in their own vehicles or communicating with them on personal cellphones, despite these practices being in violation of school district regulations.
If you or a loved one has been abused by a J.R.O.T.C. instructor, help is available. Our team is dedicated to holding abusers accountable for their actions. We believe you and can support you through this difficult time. We are not just a law firm, our team includes advocates who strive to help victims work through the trauma caused by the abuse they have suffered. Contact us today to learn how we can help you. We offer free, no obligation consultations, and never charge a fee unless we win your case. We may be able to assist you in achieving the justice you deserve.