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Overreaction or right reaction at Miramonte school?

 
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:04 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
I'm assuming the mass reassignment is to protect the teachers themselves from any violent reprisals by a disgruntled parent who would blame all of the teachers working at that school.
Did the teachers have knowledge of the surgeries ????
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:05 pm
@chai2,
Sending them to an empty school, including the custodians? Sounds like making them pariahs..

But of course, I haven't read the article yet, so my comment is premature.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:20 pm

I 'm somewhat perplexed by these factual allegations.
Apparently girls had birth control devices surgically implanted in them.
That is bad enuf. Was this done in facilitation of rapes??

Apparently some teachers were arrested by police; I take it that these were rapists?

The links did not say much about that.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:38 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
They're two different and completely unrelated stories, David -- the birth control and the Miramonte school problems.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 09:04 pm
It sounds as if the employees are being isolated in a separate location because the investigation is still ongoing. There was mention of several victims that have yet to be identified and have not come forward, and the authorities still have questions.

As for the parents who have said enough isn't being done, they may be referring to the allegations that at least one of the teachers has had complaints made against him for decades, yet he was still allowed in the classroom.

(I only read the HuffPo article -- not a great piece of reporting, IMO)
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 02:54 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
They're two different and completely unrelated stories, David --
the birth control and the Miramonte school problems.
O, I see. Thank u, boomer. I wonder how thay got together.





David
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  3  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 06:30 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Do you agree with the way the school district is handling this?

I don't claim to know the workings of the US school system nearly as well as those of you who live in the US, but ...

Assuming that the school district is responsible (has the ultimate authority) over schools in its area, then it seems to me that it's the school district which has a lot of answer for.

Why the delay (from December 2010) in taking action?
It was totally irresponsible for the school district to wait so long before informing parents about what had occurred ....

I would also assume that the school district would have advised the school principal of how s/he should respond to what had occurred? Which might well account for the principal's "silence"?

Quote:
In December 2010, investigators from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department came into possession of Berndt's "bondage" photos. The pictures showed children gagged and bound, sometimes with live cockroaches on their faces or about to eat a cookie covered in a clear white liquid. ....

..... the District kept silent for thirteen months as investigators built a criminal case. The prolonged criminal investigation yielded a discarded spoon in Berndt's classroom, which tested positive for his semen. Without this physical evidence, investigators claim, they would have only been able to charge the teacher with a misdemeanor.....


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/mark-berndt-arrested-miramonte-school_n_1247317.html

This was a criminal offence, not just a breach of school procedures. If the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department had possession of these photographs, then why was immediate action not taken?

It sounds like a cover-up to me.
I think the parents of students in that school have every right to be furious about being left in the dark for so long. Their local authorities let them down, and badly. Those local authorities should be made accountable for their lack of action for so long.

Quote:
But it seems like the school is overreacting a bit. Reassigning ALL the teachers at the school? Placing psychiatric social workers in ALL the classrooms? Investigators interviewing all current and past students of the school?

I'd suspect that the local school is acting on the advice of the school district. (At least that his how these matter are dealt with in Australia. Schools have very little autonomy in such matters. Correct me if things are different in the US.)

And I also suspect that reassigning all the school's teachers is a (much too late & thoroughly misguided) attempt on the part of the school district to create the appearance of having taken strong action. I sounds very much like most of those "reassigned" teachers had absolutely nothing to do with what occurred. I feel very sorry for them being treated like scapegoats.

-
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 09:45 am
@msolga,
The delays are a problem. There have also been complaints over the years about various teachers that were ignored Maybe there is a problem with the whole culture of the school....

But parents are pretty upset about all of the teachers being reassigned:

"It’s not fair," said Mercado. "Just because [there are] two bad teachers doesn’t mean that all the teachers are the same. It’s not fair. And not only for us, especially for the kids cause it’s going to be hard for them to have new teachers."

Quote:
Mercado is one of 60 parents who gathered on the lawn of the brightly painted school that’s experienced a lot of darkness in the last week. They protested the district’s decision not to include them in a conversation about what to do next.

"What, our opinion doesn’t matter?" asked Mercado rhetorically, summing of the feelings of many parents. "We don’t count?"

L.A. Unified officials say they’d intended to reassure parents that their children would be safe, especially after many had accused the school system of failing to protect them. But some parents maintained that the abrupt change in personnel will further traumatize students.


http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/02/08/4584/parents-and-students-react-miramontes-all-staff-ov/
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 10:11 am
I think there are several issues here: from the pictures shown it seems that the kids are predominately Hispanic and I am sure the LAPD is afraid of any repercussion from the rather large Hispanic community, if this dreadful situation isn't handled properly.

I happen to agree with the decision to replace all teachers from this school as the allegations and evidence against these two teachers are so clear, I cannot believe that no other teacher wasn't aware of it, especially since the crime investigation took presence for over a year.

There is more to this story than we - the public - is informed of.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 10:20 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
And I also suspect that reassigning all the school's teachers is a (much too late & thoroughly misguided) attempt on the part of the school district to create the appearance of having taken strong action. I sounds very much like most of those "reassigned" teachers had absolutely nothing to do with what occurred. I feel very sorry for them being treated like scapegoats.
They aren't being reassigned, though (unless that L.A. Superintendent was misquoted in the HuffPo piece). It almost sounds like he thinks there's more to all this than they've uncovered so far (evidence pointing to the worst offender's crimes going back to 2005 -- how is it no one working at the school saw anything???). He (the superintendent) is quoted as saying that as bad as this is, more surprises at this point would only make things worse.

Quote:
In a press conference at South Region High School on Monday evening, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy confirmed the decision to relocate Miramonte's 150-member staff to an off-site building, where they will undergo extensive interviews and evaluations in the wake of the arrests of two teachers accused of lewd acts with children.

The superintendent took pains to emphasize that the re-location and evaluations were not "a condemnation of an entire staff." However, the superintendent also acknowledged that the district's investigation could help staff "come to terms about what they may know" about Mark Berndt and Bernard Springer, the two teachers accused of inappropriate behavior. If any new facts were to come to light through the interviews, Deasy added, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department could take over the district's investigation at any time.

"I can't have any more surprises at Miramonte," Deasy said candidly, "but if there are more, then we will have to deal with that."
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 10:27 am
@CalamityJane,
I agree and it amazes me that had the creep not used that photolab to have his photos processed, he might not have been caught at all.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 11:30 am
I'm beginning to change my mind about it being an overreaction.

Another teacher has been implicated. This one, a woman, is accused of delivering kids to the "cookie" teacher's classroom.

It looks like kids have been complaining for a long time and that it has always been ignored: http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-miramonte-second-teacher-removed,0,7913135.story?page=1&track=rss
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 03:57 pm
@boomerang,
Yes, I think with more and more kids coming forward, we haven't heard the worst of it yet.

We as parents entrust schools and teachers with our children while they are in their custody. We have to be assured that our kids are not harmed and taken advantage of while in the care of teachers.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 04:18 pm
@Irishk,
Quote:
They aren't being reassigned, though (unless that L.A. Superintendent was misquoted in the HuffPo piece). It almost sounds like he thinks there's more to all this than they've uncovered so far (evidence pointing to the worst offender's crimes going back to 2005 -- how is it no one working at the school saw anything???). He (the superintendent) is quoted as saying that as bad as this is, more surprises at this point would only make things worse.

From the few newspaper reports I've seen (on this thread), it is difficult to know how many people at the school knew anything. Who knows, some may have actually reported what they knew to the appropriate authorities? That is often the case in these sort of unfortunate situations. (that was the case in a school I worked in quite recently, though the details were quite so shocking. Action was taken immediately.)
But my point still is, why no action taken till now, when what happened at the school is in the headlines?
Action by the appropriate authorities should have occurred ages ago. And it is the school district' & the police's job to ensure that it did.
Parents & students at that school (& yes, also the staff who had absolutely nothing to do with it, too) have every right to feel aggrieved & angry.

-
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 04:54 pm
@msolga,
Well, that's the $64K question, especially given this school's abysmal history.

Meet Miramonte's Original Molester

I have my own opinion, but I'll leave it to others to decide what they think was really going on here.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 05:11 pm
I still haven't seriously read up, have a kind of repulsion going on. I'm from LA, have friends who substitute taught in LA schools, though not in approaching a decade.

Here's an LATimes writer I've often agreed with over the years -
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0208-lopez-miramonte-20120207,0,4639284.column - that's just one of many articles there.

I need to check LA Weekly. They aren't meekly, but I usually just read them about food, eh.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 05:41 pm
@ossobuco,
Here's a LA Weekly article on one aspect of this all, with links below to more..

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/02/areceli_luisjuan_former_miramo.php
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 06:40 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
But my point still is, why no action taken till now, when what happened at the school is in the headlines?


As far as I understood: the authorities wanted to gather as much evidence as possible to convict the perpetrators. Up until now they only had enough material for a misdemeanor charges which wouldn't have been satisfactory to them.

Of course, I don't know if this is in fact the case or if they're trying to do damage control and save their necks.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 06:48 pm
@Irishk,
This is unbelievable! Here is a man convicted numerous times of child molestation and the LA Unified School just reassigned him over and over again. It seems like that Miramonte school was the last station for many
troubled teachers. No wonder they removed them all.

Things like this make me so angry. So many kids could have been spared from molestation, if the L.A. Unified School System would have done its homework.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 07:01 pm
@CalamityJane,
Totally agree with you. The reports and complaints against this school should have been given the highest priority considering its record, yet both faculty and administrators ducked their responsibility and played down the concerns of both the parents and children. The complaint of each and every child should have been immediately and thoroughly investigated at the highest level and yet we know this wasn't done. There really is no excuse.
0 Replies
 
 

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