Saturday, February 18, 2012


smf: Having just reviewed the video cited in this UPI story I have pulled it from the 4LAKids News website – its reporting is fundamentally incorrect

The following AP story from the Washington Post is more correct

LA schools head tells employees lewd charges no reflection on them, urges lessons from arrests

By Associated Press, Saturday, February 18, 7:57 PM

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Unified School District official has sent a video message to all district employees, saying the allegations of lewd acts against two longtime teachers do not reflect on them.

The brief video titled “Breaking the Silence” was posted Saturday by the LA Daily News ( ). In it, Superintendent John Deasy (DAYE’-see) thanks district employees for “amazing” work, but encourages them to learn from the incidents at Miramonte Elementary — starting with a review of the district’s child abuse training.

Deasy also explains the status of the Miramonte staff and faculty who were replaced while the district investigates the allegations. The removed staff members have been relocated to a new, unopened high school nearby.

Deasy says they’re being interviewed by investigators and counselors, and are getting professional development classes. He says all will have the chance to return after the investigation.


smf: So many investigations, so little time: Just yesterday LAUSD board president Monica Garcia said the district has launched its own investigation into how the Berndt case was handled, and that it will be thoroughly reviewed by an independent commission led by retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Moreno.


LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18 (UPI) — Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Saturday the investigation of two teachers accused of lewd acts with students is complete.

In a 4-minute video address sent to all employees in the district, Deasy said the investigation at Miramonte Elementary School is complete, and the rest of the staff — minus two teachers facing criminal charges — will be able to return, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The reason that I wanted to address you is because I know that the actions of the arrested teachers at Miramonte, and the other schools, do not reflect on you or your professionalism,” Deasy said. “I want to say that again. Just because a few members have [allegedly] done terrible things, that are being dealt with appropriately by law enforcement officials, that does not reflect on the amazing teaching, leadership and classified staff that I see every day in LAUSD.”

Trouble at the school surfaced in 2010 when a third-grade teacher took some film to be developed and a clerk told police it contained disturbing images of children.

Mark Berndt faces 23 felony counts for allegedly blindfolding, gagging and spoon-feeding semen to third graders.

Last week Martin Bernard Springer, a second-grade teacher, was arrested on charges of fondling children in separate incidents within the last three years.

“Despite our efforts to improve instruction and survive massive budget cuts, our first responsibility is to protect the children in our care,” Deasy said Saturday, adding, “It is important that our communities continue to feel safe in our schools. As you know, better than any, often our schools serve as a refuge for families.”

Deasy said the investigation found the district could better train staff on how to handle and report abuse.

Miramonte is one of the largest elementary schools in Los Angeles with 150 teachers and administrators and some 1,500 students.

“Clearly, several individuals have violated the most sacred trust we have,” Deasy told parents earlier this month.

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