Families, attorneys protest to seek end of LAUSD abuse cases
Mike Szymanski | October 27, 2015
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Attorneys representing families of students who said they have been abused by teachers and principals at LAUSD protested outside the school headquarters Tuesday morning, carrying signs that read, “LAUSD Bullies Children to Drop Lawsuits,” “Don’t be Silenced” and “Stop LAUSD Abuse.”
“The abuse in the school system continues, and the district should do something about it,” said parent Maria Hernandez, one of the 50 or so protestors. She said she was part of the class action suit associated with the Miramonte School sex scandal. Her case was settled, but she said she is still waiting for the elected board members to respond to continuing allegations of abuse. “They have promised that there would be something more done to protect our children,” she said.
Steven A. Figueroa, a legal consultant from Riverside, said he has helped many parents work their way through the court system and find attorneys. “I hear about teachers not knowing what to do, or principals slapping kids,” he said. “LAUSD is the worst school district in the country. There is no accountability in administration.”
He offered no proof or evidence of his assertions.
This protest was sparked in part because of a case involving abuse handled by attorney Luis A. Carrillo, from South Pasadena. The school board discussed another abuse case in closed session as the protest went on.
“We want to put more heat on the board and the general counsel to handle these cases properly and make this district a safe learning environment,” said Luis’s son, Michael Carrillo, who is also a lawyer.
Some of the parents carrying signs said they had children or knew of others who were victimized at LA Unified. Some said they went through proper channels to discuss the issues but were ignored. Some said they spoke to school board members who were sympathetic.
“There needs to be due process when something like this happens,” Hernandez said, pointing to something other than the “teacher jail” system that some of the parents dismissed as inadequate.