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Author Topic: LA Elem. Teacher Mark Berndt Fired & Chgd with Lewd Acts Against 23 Children  (Read 11157 times)
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 04:12:45 PM »


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-01/teacher-classroom-molester-photos/52918298/1
Bail set at $23M in ex-teacher's molestation case
February 1, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Mark Berndt, 61, appeared in court for the first time after being charged with committing lewd acts involving 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2008 and 2010.

The tall and graying Berndt, represented by public defender Liz Braunstein, seemed calm in court as he spoke only to acknowledge his identity and birthdate and agreed to have his arraignment put over to Feb. 21.
He has made no statements to authorities, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Deputy District Attorney Ana Maria Lopez requested the increase in bail from the initial $2.3 million amount. District attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the initial bail figure was an error because the presumptive bail is $1 million per count.

 ::snipping2::

Video at Link
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 07:06:30 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/la-teacher-suspected-of-lewd-conduct-keeps-benefits.html
L.A. teacher suspected of lewd conduct keeps benefits
February 1, 2012

A teacher charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct in his classroom successfully thwarted attempts by the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire him. In the process, the teacher, who is accused of spoon-feeding his sperm to blindfolded children, managed to retain lifetime health-benefits provided by the nation’s second-largest school system.

Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt also automatically receives nearly $4,000 a month in pension from the California State Teachers' Retirement System.
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 09:31:32 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-20120202,0,3301893.story?page=1
Questions swirl around teacher as more allegations arise
February 1, 2012

The Los Angeles Unified School District launched an internal investigation to determine how a teacher accused of bizarre acts of lewd conduct against the students in his classroom escaped suspicion for so long.

The investigation comes as detectives said Wednesday that several new potential victims have come forward and parents at Miramonte Elementary School demanded to know why the alleged crimes went undetected for five years.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 09:43:25 PM »

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jc_C9TCE2a283Xlok164FHYObQkw?docId=e77fc7917bcc4c6ea5fbc8068d966ad1
LA school officials chided for molest case silence
By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent
February 1, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Two former students of Berndt said school officials were informed about his odd behavior two decades ago.

Marlene Truhillo told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/yo4M8P) in a story posted online Wednesday that school officials had looked into a complaint made against Berndt in the 1990-91 school year.

Trujillo said she was a fourth-grader in his class at the time and met with a school counselor with two other girls after one of them complained about his behavior.

She said Berndt often moved his hands under his desk, near his lap, at the front of the classroom. She and other students had seen a jar of Vaseline in one of his desk compartments.

Trujillo said the counselor "just told us it's not very good to make stories up. She said it was our imagination. It was never talked about again."

Trujillo's classmate at the time, Nadine Martinez Rodriguez, said she also noticed Berndt's behavior. Martinez said she told her mother about it at the time but that her mother didn't take it seriously enough to report to school officials, the Times reported.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2012, 05:56:51 PM »

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2012/0202/Lesson-of-L.A.-teacher-sex-crime-case-Heed-children-who-report-abuse
Lesson of L.A. teacher sex-crime case: Heed children who report abuse
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, Staff writer
February 2, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Mr. Berndt taught at Miramonte Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 30 years. He was suspended and resigned in early 2011 when the county sheriff's department began investigating charges that led recently to his arrest on 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children.

Those charges date back to 2005. But the alleged troubling behavior may have started much earlier, authorities say.

In 1994, Berndt was investigated by the sheriff's department, but not prosecuted, for allegedly trying to fondle a 10-year-old girl, the Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon.

Two women also said this week that when they were students of Berndt’s in 1990-91, they told a counselor of behavior in the classroom that implied that he was fondling himself, the Los Angeles Times reports. One of the women said the counselor “told us it’s not very good to make stories up. She said it was our imagination.”

The school district is launching its own investigation into how Berndt’s alleged behavior could have gone on undetected for years. The case came to light when a photo developer called law enforcement officials in late 2010 about incriminating photos, the LA Times reports.
 ::snipping2::

n 2010, a report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailed cases of abusive educators moving from state to state and committing new offenses – even sometimes after being convicted of sexual abuse. State laws requiring background checks or reporting of sexual misconduct in schools vary widely.

There have been some small signs of progress. A 2011 law in Missouri may be the first to really try to stop the phenomenon. Known as the Amy Hester Student Protection Act, it “requires school districts to report substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct by educators to another school district that seeks a reference for that educator,” according to Courthouse News Service.
On the federal level, no laws regulate the employment of sex offenders in schools, the GAO noted.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2012, 05:59:38 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/teacher-mark-berndt-records.html
LAUSD finds no records of complaints against teacher Mark Berndt
February 2, 2012

Despite emerging reports of past suspicion of misconduct, Los Angeles school district officials have found no record of complaints against former teacher Mark Berndt, who is accused of bizarre acts of lewd conduct against students in his classroom.

The lack of documentation is not unusual because of when the incidents occurred, the law on reporting potential molestation and standard employee safeguards against potentially false accusations, said David Holmquist, general counsel for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

 ::snipping2::
Los Angeles Unified School District officials learned Wednesday of suspected past misconduct from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and L.A. Times interviews with two former students from Miramonte Elementary, where Berndt, 61, worked for more than 30 years.

One former student said she was among those interviewed after Berndt was accused by one or more students of masturbating behind his desk during the 1990-91 school year. A school counselor eventually “just told us it’s not very good to make stories up,” said Marlene Trujillo. “She said it was our imagination. It was never talked about again.”

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2012, 05:32:25 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/past-claims-raise-further-questions-about-la-teacher-charged-with-committing-lewd-acts-on-kids/2012/02/03/gIQA3WjLmQ_story.html
Official: 2nd teacher removed from Los Angeles elementary school is arrested
February 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES — A second teacher pulled from a classroom at Miramonte Elementary School this week was arrested Friday, just days after a third-grade teacher was charged with lewd acts involving photographing nearly two dozen children for sexual thrills, authorities said.
 ::snipping2::

The second teacher, who has not been identified, was removed after accusations of inappropriate touching of students surfaced on Thursday, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said.

“We are prepared to fire him next week and we’ll do that at the next board meeting for inappropriate conduct and inappropriately touching students,” the superintendent told KTTV.
 ::snipping2::

Child-abuse investigators were informed by the district late Thursday night, sheriff’s Lt. Carlos Marquez said, declining to provide details.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2012, 05:39:05 PM »

Mark Berndt "just not that kind of person"?  Photos and DNA say otherwise.   

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57371130/second-teacher-in-la-school-abuse-case-arrested/
Second teacher in LA school abuse case arrested
February 3, 2012

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says a second teacher removed from a south Los Angeles elementary school this week has been arrested.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says the teacher was arrested Friday on suspicion of "inappropriate behavior," but he's not releasing any immediate details on the reason. Officials have planned an early afternoon news conference to discuss the case.

The arrest comes just days after another Miramonte Elementary School teacher was charged with photographing children for sexual thrills. The number of molestation complaints to the district has increased since the first teacher was charged this week with photographing children for sexual thrills, authorities said.
Earlier today, the second teacher was pulled from a classroom at the school.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy confirmed earlier that a teacher was removed from classes yesterday morning after he received information about "possible inappropriate behavior."

"As a result, this teacher was immediately removed from the classroom. He will remain off campus pending an investigation by the Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Department," Deasy said, adding that the teacher's name is being withheld at the request of the Sheriff's Department.

He declined to provide details on the second educator.

"We have some information and we are currently investigating that but the teacher has not been arrested or charged with any crime," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Carlos Marquez.

Child-abuse investigators were informed by the district late Thursday night, he said, declining to provide details.
 ::snipping2::
Deasy wouldn't discuss details of the allegations against the second teacher or whether it was sexual.

"This just came to our attention yesterday," Deasy said Friday. "The information was new. It's not, like, something we dug up."

He also said that the teacher was removed from class "out of an abundance of caution" rather than because of any physical evidence.

"This would be what I would call a normal course of action."
 ::snipping2::
Angelica Zuniga, a 16-year-old high school junior, was in third grade in 2003 when she had Berndt as a teacher. She said he never asked her or others to do anything strange or to play any inappropriate games.

"They're calling him 'monster.' He's just not that kind of person," Angelica said. "He was one of the most amazing teachers out there. He's dedicated his life to us, and I want to stick up for him."


The latest investigation of Berndt began last fall when a film processor became suspicious about the photographs and turned them over to Redondo Beach police, who on Dec. 2 handed them over to the sheriff's department, Scott said.

Berndt, who taught at Miramonte for more than 30 years ago, was removed from classwork in January and fired within the month.

The case also prompted Deasy to fire a high school teacher who is being sued over allegations he had sex with students. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Vance Miller, 59, was pulled from his Hamilton High School classroom in 2010, before Deasy became superintendent.

A police investigation didn't result in criminal charges. But two former students, now adults, said the music teacher had sex with them while they were students at Hamilton. Deasy reviewed the case this week and decided there was enough information to fire Miller, who has been paid since his removal.
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2012, 05:51:51 PM »

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/west/view/20120203official_2nd_teacher_from_la_school_arrested/srvc=home&position=recent
Official: 2nd teacher from LA school arrested
February 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County authorities say a second teacher removed from an elementary school was arrested for investigation of lewd acts upon two girls who were approximately 7 years old.

Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker says 49-year-old Martin Springer was arrested Friday
, less than a week after a 30-year teacher at Miramonte Elementary School was charged with lewd acts involving 23 children.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2012, 05:55:11 PM »

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/California-Mandatory-Reporting-Act-Mark-Berndt-Film-Processors-138666714.html
Decades-Old Law, Even Older Technology Led to Mark Berndt Arrest
February 3, 2012

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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2012, 06:31:01 PM »

I've opened a separate thread for the arrest of the 2nd Miramonte Elementary teacher Martin Springer. It doesn't appear at this time there is a connection between the two cases.

Martin Springer-2nd LA Elem. Teacher Arrested-Lewd Acts Against Pupils

http://scaredmonkeys.net/index.php?topic=12706.msg1506890#msg1506890
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2012, 07:27:17 PM »

http://www.the-signal.com/section/36/article/59344/
This just in from Assemblyman Cameron Smyth's office
SMYTH TO INTRODUCE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING PENSIONS FOR FELONS
February 3, 2012

SACRAMENTO - Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, announced today that he will be introducing a constitutional amendment that will prohibit convicted felons from receiving their pension benefits. The legislation stems from recent articles about Mark Berndt, a teacher in Los Angeles who faces 23 counts of lewd conduct with students in his elementary school classroom. Because Berndt resigned before district officials could fire him, he retains lifetime health benefits, along with a monthly pension of nearly $4,000.
 ::snipping2::
Smyth's Assembly Constitutional Amendment, which has not yet received a number, would bar any public employee from receiving their pension if they are convicted of any specified felony. The ban would cover employees who participate in the CalPERS system, as well as teachers like Berndt, who participate in CalSTRS. Because it is a constitutional amendment, rather than a bill, it must be approved by two-thirds of the legislature and voters.

"While a constitutional amendment requires more votes to pass," said Smyth, "that means it would also take a two-thirds vote to undo the changes we want to make. Good legislation is often passed, only to be overturned by a simple majority the following year. I don't want to see that happen with an important issue like this one."

Smyth expects to have full language of the Assembly Constitutional Amendment for introduction later this month.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2012, 09:24:10 PM »



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/girl-says-she-was-victim-of-both-accused-teachers-at-la-school.html
Girl says she was victim of both accused teachers at L.A. school
February 4, 2012

In 2008, a second-grader at Miramonte Elementary School reportedly came home from school and showed her parents two photos she said were taken by her teacher, Mark Berndt.

One photo shows her with two other girls, standing against a wall. The second shows her biting down on a small cookie. A shiny, light-colored substance is faintly visible on top of the cookie.

The parents said they found the photos strange and went to Miramonte's principal at the time to complain. They say the principal looked at the photos but dismissed their concerns, suggesting the photos might be part of a class project.
The girl was later transferred to the classroom of Martin Bernard Springer. There, the father said, his daughter said Springer touched her on the leg and thigh.

 ::snipping2::
Law enforcement sources said Saturday that detectives believe the one girl was a victim of both Berndt and Springer. Detective have been investigating her accusations against the two teachers.

The detectives have seen records confirming that the girl was transferred from Berndt’s class to Springer's class, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.


The accusations by the second-grader's parents raise more questions about how much officials knew about Berndt's behavior. Two former students of Berndt, who are now adults, said in interviews with The Times that they thought they saw the teacher masturbating behind his desk in the 1990-91 school year. A counselor at the school told a group of students at the time not to make up stories, one of them said.
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« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2012, 09:42:00 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/05/sources-girl-was-victim-both-california-teachers-arrested-for-lewd-acts/
Sources: Girl was victim of both California teachers arrested for lewd acts
February 5, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Berndt was nabbed this week after a year-long investigation that began when a film processor discovered more than 40 photographs depicting children inside a school classroom with their eyes blindfolded and their mouths taped shut. Film processors are mandated by California law to report photographs of suspected child abuse.

Authorities said that the 23 identified victims include 21 girls and two boys, who were between the ages of seven and 10 at the time of the alleged crimes.

At least seven additional potential victims have come forward to investigators since police announced Berndt's arrest Tuesday.
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« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2012, 06:58:11 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/miramonte-school-closed.html
L.A. school to be closed for two days for sex-abuse investigation
February 6, 2012

Miramonte Elementary School, where two teachers have been arrested for alleged lewd activity with students, will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as sheriff's detectives and district officials continue their investigation into the allegations.
 ::snipping2::
Meantime, the Los Angeles Unified School District will hold a meeting for parents at 6 p.m. Monday at the newly opened South Region High School #2 at 6100 S. Central Ave.

Parents gathered at the school Monday morning to protest the district's handling of the incident. Several parents and former students have come forward to say their complaints either were not taken seriously or not fully investigated.

On Saturday, investigators revealed that a student was allegedly a victim of lewd conduct by both teachers. The teachers knew each but there is no indication that they conspired together.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2012, 12:31:26 AM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/entire-miramonte-elementary-staff-to-be-replaced.html?track=icymi
Schools chief announces entire Miramonte staff to be replaced
February 6, 2012



Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy told parents Monday evening that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School in the wake of the arrests last week of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

The unprecedented move is intended to build confidence among the many families who have lost faith in their neighborhood elementary school. More than a quarter of students did not show up for classes Monday.

Officials stressed that no one else on the Miramonte staff is under suspicion of wrongdoing but that the chain of events has placed a cloud over the campus that can be lifted only with a drastic response.
 ::snipping2::
The displacement could be temporary: Many, maybe all, of the current staff will be returned to the school eventually, officials said. In the interim, their places will be filled by qualified teachers and other workers already on a placement or rehiring list. There are plenty of available candidates: Over the last several years, thousands of instructors and other non-teaching staff were laid off because of budget cuts; the vast majority are considered fully qualified employees who lost work simply because they lacked sufficient seniority.

The displaced staff will continue to be paid and also will receive counseling for a series of events that also traumatized the Miramonte staff, officials said.
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2012, 11:50:40 AM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/accused-teacher-gave-alleged-victim-presents-pictures.html
Accused teacher gave alleged victim presents, pictures
February 6, 2012

Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt gave presents to one of his alleged victims, visited her home and even gave the children photos of them blindfolded and gagged – the same type of pictures that eventually led to his arrest, attorneys for an alleged victim said.

Attorneys for the girl, who is now 9, filed a $15-million claim against the Los Angeles Unified School District on Monday alleging negligence and violations of the girl's civil rights because the district ignored reports in 1991, 1994 and 2008 about Berndt's conduct. Berndt was arrested last week and charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct.

Attorney Ricardo Antonio Perez said the teacher spoon-fed the girl a white liquid substance authorities now believe to be semen. He said the teacher also fed the girl, who was 8 at the time, semen-laced cookies as part of an unsuspecting game between September and December 2010.
 ::snipping2::
perez said the teacher visited the girl when school was out of session.

"He gave her bags of candy and something with an inscription that we don't want to reveal at this moment," Perez said.

"This teacher groomed his students to be victims. … He came to this girl's home in the holidays and gave her gifts," said Gordon Phillips, who is also representing the girl and her family. "That's something no teacher should be doing."

The district's failed oversight allowed the girl to become of the 23 alleged victims named in charges filed by the district attorney's office, said Phillips and Perez, who have sued L.A. Unified in the past.

Perez said he knows of previous complaints against Berndt in 1991 and 1994 "and still he was at the school," Perez said. "There was complete failure of the system."

He alleged that Berndt committed all these acts in plain sight. At the end of the year, he even "pinned the photos to a cork board" for the kids to take home, Perez said. "It was like he was daring someone to catch them," he said.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2012, 05:08:36 PM »

http://ktar.com/509/1495372/Staff-removed-at-LA-school-during-abuse-probe
Staff removed at LA school during abuse probe
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON
September 7, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Monday night that more than 120 staff members at Miramonte Elementary School- everyone from the principal and teachers to the cafeteria workers- were being replaced because a full investigation of the allegations will be disruptive and staffers will require support to get through the scandal.

"We intend to interview every adult, every adult who works at that school, whether they are a teacher or administrator, or whether they are an after-school playground worker or a custodian or a secretary. I mean every single solitary adult who works at Miramonte," Deasy said to parents who packed a high school gymnasium.

An entire staff has been selected to come into Miramonte's classrooms to take over teaching for the time being, and there will be a psychiatric social worker in every classroom to help students and staff cope with any issues.

The teachers and support staff will remain officially attached to Miramonte even though they are indefinitely being transferred, district spokeswoman Monica Carazo said Tuesday.

"He (Deasy) will decide if and when to return them back to the Miramonte school. So nothing is definite at this time," she said.

Deasy said the employees, which include nearly 90 teachers, will remain out of the school at least until August, when Miramonte changes from a year-round system to a regular summer-vacation schedule. When classes resume, there will be fewer teachers and fewer students because some will be transferred to new schools that are opening.

Deasy announced Monday that an investigation of the allegations will include interviewing former as well as current Miramonte students. The probe will be handled by an independent commission led by retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Moreno.

All employees will be paid during the investigation, district spokesman Tom Waldman said. Officials didn't know how long the investigation would take.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2012, 07:29:31 AM »

  

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-miramonte-20120208,0,485100.story
Miramonte aide's love letters to pupil investigated
The student's mother says school officials and sheriff's deputies ignored her complaints at first. L.A. Unified officials say they are having trouble finding any record of the employee, saying she no longer works for the district.
By Dalina Castellanos and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
February 8, 2011

In June 2009, the mother of a fourth-grader made a discovery that is now the latest incident under investigation at Miramonte Elementary School: a teacher's aide was allegedly writing love letters to her 11-year-old son.

One letter, meant as a short-term farewell note, included a passage that the mother found especially disturbing: "When I was writing this letter, I was crying. My heart was breaking into pieces," wrote the teacher's aide, who has been identified as Areceli Luisjuan. "Oh! I didn't tell you that I like when you put your arm around my shoulder, and if I told you not to do that it's because I don't want to put you in trouble, but I like it…"

The episode has become the subject of a law enforcement inquiry and an internal review by the Los Angeles Unified School District. According to the mother, however, sheriff's deputies and the school system failed to take her seriously the first time she brought the matter to their attention.
 ::snipping2::
The love letter was first detailed in a July 2009 article in Hoy, a Spanish-language publication that is part of the same publishing group as The Times. In interviews with The Times this week, the mother recounted her experience in Spanish.

Efforts to reach Luisjuan were unsuccessful.

"When you get close to me, even if you give me the chills I like that," continued the letter, which is written in English. "Don't tell nobody about this!" (The word "chills" is underlined.)

At the bottom, the writer penned the student's name four times, signed it "Sad Girl" and then added: "Read the letter and throw it away. I don't want your mom or brother to find it."

The mother, whose name is not being released to protect the identity of her son, a minor, said she believes there were about three letters, although she only had one to show to a reporter. The first item she found, in 2009, was a drawing of a crying woman that also was labeled "sad girl."

She noticed the drawing when it happened to tumble from its perch in her son's room. The fall also dislodged a cellphone number from a corner of the frame. When she confronted her son, he showed her two letters.

The crying picture, she later learned, was prompted by Luisjuan's pending relocation to a nearby middle school. The transfer apparently was planned before the mother complained, she said.

The mother, who said the aide appeared to be in her 50s, immediately went to see her son's teacher. But the teacher told the mother that she could get into trouble for making up stories.
 ::snipping2::
When the mother abuses her kid and they find out at school they throw all the authorities at you," she said Tuesday. "But what happens when it's the other way around? I couldn't do anything."

She did not produce the letters at the time of her first complaint.

She said she next went to the Sheriff's Department, which directed her to return to the school to handle the matter.

At a second meeting, those present included the mother, her son, the teacher, Luisjuan and an assistant principal.

According to the mother, Luisjuan admitted writing letters and drawing the picture. Luisjuan compared her affection to that of a grandmother for a grandson, the mother said. The mother was sent home, but not before she insisted on a written record of the meeting, which she kept.

"Why would they pay attention to me?" the mother said. "I'm a single mother and Mexican."

The aide delivered the final letter, the one quoted above, on the same day as the meeting, June 23, 2009. She also allegedly gave the boy a gift: a crystal, heart-shaped bowl full of candy.

When asked about the incident by Hoy, L.A. Unified spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said that "as of today" Luisjuan no longer works for the school system.

This week, district officials had trouble finding a record of either the employee or what had happened. It was being researched, spokesman Thomas Waldman said.
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« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2012, 07:37:55 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/la-school-scandal-2nd-teacher-charged-fired-board/story?id=15536279
LA School Scandal: 2nd Teacher Charged, Fired by Board
By KEVIN DOLAK and COLLEEN CURRY
February 8, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Martin Springer was charged Tuesday with committing three counts of committing lewd acts on one girl, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that a law enforcement officer said that a second girl recanted her accusation against the teacher.

Bail for Springer was reportedly set at $300,000, while the judge said that the 49-year-old will be forced to wear an ankle monitoring device if released.

Tom Waldman, spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District told The Associated Press that the board voted unanimously to terminate Springer. He has 30 days to appeal the decision.
 ::snipping2::
The district has now contacted former teachers and staff members who had been laid off during budget cuts to come back and temporarily teach at the school.

The school district is checking fingerprints, backgrounds and personnel files of those individuals who are interested in coming back to temporarily teach at Miramonte to ensure that they have no record of inappropriate behavior with children, Ramos said.

The school is expected to reopen to students on Thursday.

The current Miramonte staff will go to a non-operational school facility and undergo interviews with administrators and investigators.

Lawyer Brian Claypool told ABC News that he has identified a female teacher who would allegedly bring little girls to Berndt to be victimized.

"I reported to the L.A. County Sheriff's Special Victims Unit a new teacher who I believe patently aided and abetted the abuse Berndt was carrying out," Claypool told ABCNews.com.

Claypool said his accusation has come from conversations with at least three students or former students who said the other female teacher had a role in the alleged crimes.
 ::snipping2::
The troubled elementary school in Los Angeles' Huntington Park neighborhood has already seen allegations of child sexual assault in the past decade.

Teacher's aide Ricardo Guevara is currently serving out a 15-year sentence after he was found guilty of fondling three kindergarten girls in 2003 while working at the school, according to ABC News affiliate KABC.

Los Angeles Unified School District was ordered in 2008 to pay Guevara's victims a $1.6 million settlement.

Attorney Keith Davidson, who is representing one of the alleged victims of Berndt, also worked on the case against Guevara.
 ::snipping2::
Video at Link
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  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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