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Alleged Murderer Had No Reported Classroom Behavior Issues

Brianna Sacks | June 20, 2013



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Accused murderer and meth addict Michael Kane, an LAUSD elementary school teacher, has no previous history of violence during his career as a teacher and his personnel file states he was never removed from his classroom for any misbehavior, according to district officials.

Kane began working for the district in 1997 as a substitute teacher and taught at Carthay Center and Bassett Street Elementary before being assigned to Nestle Avenue Elementary School in 2008.

Kane pleaded not guilty to murder and three other counts Wednesday.

Los Angeles Unified officials said Kane had no disciplinary actions listed in his file, which would theoretically also reveal if the teacher had been removed from his classroom and placed in a so-called “teacher jail” if he was being investigated for any misbehavior.

However, because of privacy laws teachers may be placed in “teacher jails” during investigations and “nobody would know,” according to Leonard Isenberg, a former LAUSD teacher and founder of perdaily.com, an education blog and advocacy site for teachers accused of misconduct.

What’s more, Isenberg argues that while the district or union should document if a teacher is removed from a classroom for any reason, that is not currently the case.

“If you are put in a ‘teacher jail’ there should be a record of it,” said Isenberg. “But UTLA doesn’t even know how many teachers are in ‘teacher jail’ and they don’t do anything to find out.”

United Teachers of Los Angeles did not respond to our request for comment or clarification about records of Kane’s behavior. None of the schools where Kane has worked responded to comment on Kane’s alleged behavior, either.

Previous posts: UTLA Rails Against ‘Teacher Jails,’ Teacher Misconduct Proposal Wins Unexpected Support, One Thing: LAUSD’s Crowded “Rubber Rooms”

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