Miramonte Elementary School teachers have not spoken publicly for nearly three months since they were removed from their classrooms as part of an investigation into two separate cases of teachers arrested for lewd acts on children.
But they have spoken at union events to their peers.
KPCC has linked to a video of a statement made by one teacher in March at a meeting of the California Teachers Association's State Council, the union's top policy-making body. The meetings are typically not open to the public.
Maria Miranda, a first grade teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, calls L.A. Unified's treatment of the teachers "unfair" in her comments to her union peers. We provide excerpts below.
"We are the teachers from Miramonte Elementary School...We take our job as mandated reporters very seriously, and the safety of our students has always been our top priority. We feel that our students have endured a traumatic experience due to the alleged incidents and to the removal of the entire staff at their school. Children were wronged, and teachers have been wronged as well."
"We have been pulled from our classroom and students. Our futures have been put on hold. We were removed from a nurturing educational environment and relocated to an unfinished high school without students. District personnel have told us they are making up the plan as they go along. While we have not been accused of a crime, we are being treated as though we are suspects or have already been found guilty of conspiracy. We have been told we cannot be around students or parents from our school community or any other school community within LAUSD.
On the evening of Feb. 6, we were informed by our superintendent, Dr. John Deasy, that we were to pack our personal belongings and vacate the campus. We were given two days to pack up our lives as educators. With each box we packed, we sealed our hopes and dreams of plans we had for our students. We packed our expertise and our chosen purpose in life.
We had one hour during the two-day packing process for a 'seamless transition' to impart all of our knowledge of our students and educational plans to our replacement teachers."
Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy said in February that it was necessary to take drastic measures to ensure there were no more surprises at Miramonte and investigate how no one knew what was going on.
All teachers are mandated reporters of any suspected child abuse under state law. Deasy said once the investigation was complete and teachers were cleared, they would be able to return to their classrooms.
Dozens of the Miramonte Elementary School teachers will march and speak publicly for the first time in nearly three months at an event outside the unopened Augustus F. Hawkins High School in South L.A. at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.