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So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

'Good people shouldn't be worried,' says LAUSD board member

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Here's a little context on what sort of policy might come out of LAUSD after a former Miramonte Elementary School teacher was accused of 23 lewd acts on a child, and other sexual abuse allegations have been reported against district employees in the last few weeks.

School board member Steve Zimmer said he hasn't yet seen the resolution being crafted by board member Nury Martinez, which will be presented to the board March 13 at their next meeting.

Zimmer said it is key the district ensures that it goes back and thoroughly combs through all its employees' personnel files.

"It's making sure that we don't have folks who are still in regular contact with children, who may have had incomplete investigations, or instead of completing an investigation the action was to transfer, that is what I'm most concerned about," Zimmer said.

Zimmer, Martinez, and Superintendent John Deasy have all spoken about the fact that there may be increased reporting for some time, and therefore more allegations coming to light. Parents may be having new conversations with their children and others may have "the courage to break the code of silence," Zimmer said.

"We're not looking for someone who lost their temper and swore when they shouldn't have, or even the guy who is throwing a pencil," Zimmer said. "We're looking for very specific things. Good people shouldn't be worried about the fact that they may have had a conflict with a parent and something ended up in their files. That's a normative cycle of a teaching career. I am concerned about things that are very very egregious, and of a nature that would compromise the safety of a child. That's what we're looking for."

Zimmer said the district needs to be very clear that every allegation is going to be thoroughly and fairly investigated.

"The absolute priority is student safety...that we're following the law, and if there are instances where laws need to be changed, and we're looking at that," Zimmer said.

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

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