Commentary: LAUSD needs plan to prevent another Miramonte
LA School Report | November 25, 2014
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Via The Los Angeles Times | By The Editorial Board
The sexual abuse of students at Miramonte Elementary School was creepy beyond
measure, involving a “game” in which third-graders were blindfolded and fed cookies tainted with their teacher’s semen. But the astonishing $139-million legal settlement — on top of an earlier $30 million settlement with Miramonte students — had more to do with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s culpability than with the horror of Mark Berndt’s criminal mistreatment of trustful young children.
A new database of teacher conduct cases also should give administrators a better idea of which teachers attract the most complaints.
Schools can never completely protect students against predators in the classroom. But they can take action once they are given reason to be concerned, and in this case, administrators had ample warning. Former Miramonte students and their parents alleged troubling behavior by Berndt years before his arrest in 2012.
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