Op-Ed: “Without Funding, Student Discipline Bill Will Hurt the Kids Who Need the Most Help”

“This bill gives just half the solution: it relieves the teacher and protects the other kids, but in the majority of counties, steers the disruptive child out of the classroom and into a void where much-needed help simply does not exist.”

In their second op-ed, Sharon Iskra, BG’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect team leader, and Kellie Caseman, Executive Director of Think Kids in West Virginia, provide a persuasive analysis of a new West Virginia discipline bill they say will hurt the kids who need the most help.

The op-ed published in News From The States, points out that to many, Senate Bill 614 seems to be a balanced solution, allowing elementary teachers to remove disruptive students ages 5-12 from the classroom, however, it “puts nothing in place to help them,” they argue.

The article details important underlying facts to consider: only 13 of the state’s 55 counties have an elementary alternative discipline program, and many of the schools lack the proper program resources, which requires significant funding. Other factors such as law enforcement involvement and childhood poverty rates have considerable implications for the children subjected to these disciplinary actions and must also be addressed, they contend.

Read the full op-ed here.

To learn more about Sharon, follow this link.
To learn more about the firm’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect practice, visit here.

Op-Ed: “What Are We Waiting For? Legislators, Our Child Welfare System Needs Immediate Action.”

“We can’t just plug holes. We need to fix the foundation. Everyone says children are our priority, so what’s the plan?” Sharon Iskra, BG’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect team leader, co-authors this insightful and powerful op-ed about the state of West Virginia’s child welfare system with Kellie Caseman, Executive Director of Think Kids in West Virginia.

Some data: “In 2023 alone, the Bureau of Social Services’ Centralized Intake hotline received roughly 40,000 referrals. Our state now has the highest ratio of child victims in the country: 17 per 1,000 children, which is twice the national average. And, despite the pediatric population decreasing by 10,000 between 2017-2021, more kids entered West Virginia’s foster care system in 2021 than in the five years prior.”

To read this article, visit here.

To learn more about Sharon, follow this link.
To learn more about the firm’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect practice, visit here.

Bailey & Glasser, LLP Fighting for Maryland Sex Abuse Survivors

This has been a significant week for survivors of sex abuse in the state of Maryland. On Sunday, the new Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023 went into effect, eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. On the same day, Bailey Glasser and a consortium of 3 other law firms filed six lawsuits against the State of Maryland on behalf of over 50 survivors abused while in Maryland’s juvenile justice system.

We are grateful for the all the public interest in the fight for justice for these survivors. If you’d like to learn more about these lawsuits or our team of attorneys, you can read our press release and other media coverage here.

The Bailey Glasser team includes Sharon F. Iskra leader of the Institutional Abuse & Neglect team, founding partner Brian A. Glasser, Mass Torts Practice Group leader David L. Selby II, and mass torts partner D. Todd Mathews. The other law firms representing the survivors include Walsh Law PLLC; Rhine Law Firm; and DiCello Levitt.

#survivorsrights #ChildVictimsAct #BaileyGlasser

BG Lawsuits Covered in Washington Post Article: “Lawsuits Allege Dozens Were Sexually Abused in Md. Juvenile Facilities”

BREAKING NEWS: “It’s a tragedy, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity to do the right thing,” said Sharon Iskra, Bailey & Glasser, LLP’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect practice team leader in the Washington Post article, “Lawsuits allege dozens were sexually abused in Md. Juvenile facilities.”

The article discusses the Maryland Child Victims Act, which took effect Sunday and eliminates the civil statute of limitations, and spotlights the six lawsuits filed on the same day by Bailey Glasser along with three other law firms on behalf of hundreds who survived systemic abuse as children while in the Maryland juvenile justice system.

Sharon, one of the lead attorneys for the survivors, discusses the need for a trauma-focused approach to her legal representation, saying, “On every level, it’s our effort, it’s our hope, our desire — and we’re doing everything we can — to make this a trauma-informed intake process.”

Other members of the Bailey Glasser team include firm founder Brian Glasser, partner Mass Tort Practice Group leader David Selby II, and mass tort partner D. Todd Mathews. Co-counsel include Alexandra Walsh and Kim Channick of Walsh Law; Joel Rhine and Martin Ramey of Rhine Law Firm; and Nick Horattas of DiCello Levitt.

Read the full article here.

#survivorsrights #sexualabuse #childvictimsact #baileyglasser

Lawsuit Filed Against State of Maryland on Behalf of Juvenile Hall Sexual Abuse Survivors

Bailey Glasser and three other law firms filed suit against the State of Maryland yesterday on behalf of over 50 male and female survivors of horrendous sexual abuse suffered while minors in the custody of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

The Bailey Glasser team is comprised of partner and Institutional Abuse & Neglect team leader Sharon Iskra, founding partner Brian Glasser, Mass Torts Practice Group Leader David Selby II, mass torts partner Todd Mathews, and Cary Joshi. Our co-counsel firms include Walsh Law PLLC; Rhine Law Firm; and DiCello Levitt.

As alleged in our lawsuits, previous administrations of the State of Maryland systemically allowed the rape, sodomy, threats, retaliation, and egregious abuse (physical, mental, and emotional) of hundreds of youths in its juvenile detention centers over decades. The State failed to monitor and, more importantly, failed to fix its system despite numerous external investigations documenting serious abuse dating back to 1967, prior class action lawsuits alleging civil rights and Constitutional violations, and explicit complaints from the children themselves.

We look forward to working with the current Maryland state administration in pursuing justice and closure for these survivors and an improved system that protects today’s children.

For more, please visit here.

#justice #baileyglasser #protectchildren #survivorsrights

CBS News Covers Maryland Sexual Abuse Case Filings

On October 2, 2023, CBS Mornings and CBS Evening News profiled the filing of six lawsuits against the State of Maryland on behalf of over 50 survivors under the new Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023 which, as of October 1, 2023, eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. This new law allows adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file claims that, under previous laws, would have been time-barred. Maryland now joins a trend of states reforming their laws so that survivors may seek justice for sexual abuse that occurred when they were under 18, regardless of their age now.

The law firms representing the survivors include Bailey & Glasser, LLP; Walsh Law PLLC; Rhine Law Firm; and DiCello Levitt. Bailey Glasser lawyers in this matter are founding partner Brian A. Glasser; Sharon Iskra, practice team leader of the firm’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect practice; David Selby, Mass Torts Practice Group Leader; Todd Mathews, mass tort partner; and Cary Joshi, Commercial & Environmental Practice Group Leader.

As alleged in our lawsuits, for decades, previous administrations of the State of Maryland systemically allowed the rape, sodomy, molestation, torture, and egregious abuse and neglect (physical, mental, and emotional) of hundreds of children in its juvenile detention centers. These administrations were negligent in hiring and retaining not only direct staff who harmed children, but third-party providers whose personnel had felony convictions and histories of using excessive force against juveniles. The State failed to monitor, and more importantly, failed to fix its system despite numerous external investigations documenting serious abuse dating back to 1967, prior class action lawsuits alleging civil rights and Constitutional violations, and explicit complaints from the children themselves. The Complaints ascribes responsibility for the dereliction of duties to the top personnel of the system who could have prevented these harms, but instead inexplicably turned a blind eye to the horrific abuse its own staff was inflicting upon the defenseless children who had been entrusted to its care for help and reform.

To watch the report, please visit here.

Bailey Glasser Maryland Sexual Abuse Cases Featured in People Magazine

People profiles our groundbreaking case against the State of Maryland in an article entitled: “‘No One Is Ever Going to Believe You’: New Complaints Allege Rampant Sex Abuse at 6 Md. Juvenile Facilities.” Interviewed for this article is Sharon Iskra, BG partner and Institutional Abuse & Neglect Team Leader whose mission is to be a voice for the vulnerable. “‘We can’t change the past, but we can improve the future, and I look forward to working with Maryland so that happens,’ Iskra says.”

The team in this matter also includes founding partner Brian A. Glasser, Mass Tort Practice Group Leader David Selby, and mass tort partner Todd Mathews.

To read the read the People article, click here.

To learn more our cases against Maryland, please visit here.

42 Bailey Glasser Lawyers Named To The Best Lawyers in America & Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch 2024 Guides

Today we announce that 42 Bailey Glasser lawyers have been recognized across various categories (including one as a “Lawyer of the Year”) in the 30th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and the fourth edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America®.

“Lawyer of the Year” honors are awarded annually to only one lawyer per practice area in each region with extremely high overall feedback from their peers, making it an exceptional distinction.

For more, follow this link.

BG Institutional Abuse & Neglect Team Secures Share of Record $11.75M Settlement for Special Needs Student Abused at Holz Elementary

“We will continue to speak on behalf of the voiceless. People say, ‘this has to stop happening’, but it won’t unless we persevere in holding offenders and facilities accountable for every penny of damage.” So commented Sharon Iskra in announcing that today she and partner Sam Hrko, on behalf of a disabled student and that student’s family, obtained a share of a record $11.75 million settlement, the largest ever entered against a public school board in West Virginia history. The amounts of the individual settlements are confidential, with Ms. Iskra and Mr. Hrko obtaining a share of the award for their single client based on the Kanawha County Board of Education’s negligent retention and supervision of teacher Nancy Boggs and classroom aides Lisa Perdue and Lori Gibson.

Boggs’ abuse included acts such as banging children’s heads on desks, slapping and yanking them, and degrading them by forcing them to sit on the floor with their noses in a hole in the wall and to eat out of the classroom sink. She also verbally terrorized students by yelling that they were “bad to the bone”, “stupid”, and that “mommy doesn’t care,” among other taunts.

Ms. Iskra and her Institutional Abuse & Neglect Practice Team are dedicated to protecting people abused by institutions such as schools, foster homes, churches, and training academies. They have won record jury verdicts and settlements, including the one today.

Click here to read more.

#justice #stopchildabuse #baileyglasser

Partners Kate Charonko and Sharon Iskra Speak at WVAJ Statewide Conference

Partners Katherine E. Charonko and Sharon Iskra spoke at the 65th Annual West Virginia Association for Justice Convention and Seminar on June 1-2nd in Charleston, WV. The WVAJ and its members are committed to protecting access to the West Virginia state and federal courts, the civil justice system, and the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial.

Kate Charonko, the head of our ESI & Technology practice group, was a panelist in the session titled “Electronic Information Technology: E-Discovery Planning, Data Collection, Production, Authentication, and Other Information to Get What You Need & Build Your Case.” Sharon Iskra, who heads Bailey Glasser’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect team was a panelist in the session titled “Human Rights Law: The Hot Topics and Trends You Need to Know.”

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