Five hundred, mostly Latino, parents met Monday night with Los Angeles superintendent to talk about the shocking arrests on allegations of sexual abuse by two teachers at the Miramonte Elementary School. L.A. schools superintendent John Deasy and his staff announced he was replacing, at least temporarily, the school’s entire staff.
“We are going to relocate the entire school staff to another location,” says Lydia Ramos, Director of Internal Communications for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Ramos explains that the temporary removal of the staff gives the district a chance to interview the teachers and school workers, as well as provide crisis counselors for them.
Not all parents agreed with this measure. “My son has the perfect teacher to me, and I don’t agree on them changing all the teachers just because of two persons,” said Delia Chaidez to KNBC. Chavez’ children currently go to Miramonte Elementary School.
María Jiménez, another parent at the school, told the Associated Press “some are in favor,” but said “others are against it because they did this without advising us or consulting us.”
Though the meeting between Deasy and the mostly Latino parents was not open to the press, Deasy released an open letter to parents. He wrote ”some might see this as an extreme circumstance,” but he added “I need to take action within the scope of what I can control.”
The district also announced that every classroom will now be taught by a pre-screened 2-person team consisting of a teacher and a counselor. “We need to stabilize the learning environment,” Deasy wrote.
The district is also offering any child or parent who is either currently attending the school or has attended the school the opportunity to receive counseling.
A popular 30-year teacher, Mark Berndt, was arrested and charged with 23 counts of lewd act on students, including feeding his own semen to children and blindfolding them and putting cockroaches on their faces. Another teacher, Martin Springer, was arrested for allegedly touching two female students on the thighs and legs during class. Berndt is being held on 23 million dollars bail, and Berndt on 2 million dollars bail.