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Supt. Deasy told by state agency LAUSD failure to inform on Miramonte teacher posed potential risk to student safety

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The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing wrote Superintendent John Deasy a letter dated Wednesday informing him that the district was posing a "potential risk to student safety" by not filing timely reports required by state regulation when a teacher's employment status changes.

In the case of former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children, the district did not file paperwork with the commission until nearly a year after it moved to dismiss Berndt.

Nanette Rufo, the commission's director and general counsel, cites the California code of regulations in the letter, which warns Deasy that "failure to make a report required under this section constitutes unprofessional conduct. The Committee may investigate any superintendent who holds a credential who fails to file reports required by this section. (Emphasis added)."

Deasy, who holds a "clear administrative services credential," could not be reached for comment Thursday. District spokesman Thomas Waldman said he is in Sacramento all day testifying on the budget. Waldman could not confirm receipt of the letter.

According to the regulation, the superintendent must report the change in employment status no later than 30 days after the status changes when it is a result of alleged misconduct or an allegation of misconduct is pending.

From the letter, which is subject-lined "Re: Superintendent's Mandatory Reporting Requirement":

"In one recent case we have no record of a report related to the teacher after the final settlement was reached and were only notified that the teacher was charged with multiple counts of lewd acts upon children more than six months after final settlement was reached by your District with the credential holder. Although the Commission is aware that errors can occur, please be aware of the potential for harm to students by not meeting your mandatory requirement to report information to the Commission when credential holders separate while charges of misconduct are pending."

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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