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

Second lawsuit filed against Hamilton High music teacher and LAUSD

Hamilton High

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Front of Hamilton High School

A second civil lawsuit has been filed today alleging sexual misconduct against a popular Hamilton High School music magnet teacher and the Los Angeles Unified School District, an attorney said.

Four students have accused Vance Miller, 59, of sexual misconduct during the mid-1990s through 2010, according to attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents the alleged victims.

Miller’s case is before the LAUSD board today for dismissal proceedings. The 2010 Southern California Oustanding Music Educator of the Year was removed from his classroom in September 2010 because of the allegations.

On Monday, the LAPD opened an investigation into Miller for alleged sexual misconduct with children based on a KPCC report that the popular music teacher had showered naked with students at a local gym. Today, KPCC reported one man, now 39, showered with Miller as a student at Loyola Village Elementary School in 1983.

Read More...

LAUSD board staff member on budget: 'It's ugly. Absolutely awful unless we get some help.'

John Deasy

Nick Ut/AP

John Deasy, head of the Los Angeles Unified School District

Superintendent John Deasy will unveil the proposed LAUSD budget at today's board meeting with a shortfall greater than expected at $570 million. There are proposed cuts to early education programs, the academic decathlon, science centers, band, and adult education, according to a board staff member who was informed of the proposals Monday.

"It's ugly. Absolutely awful unless we get some help," the board staff member said. "Everything that is good about education that keeps people in schools is going."

The board staff member stressed that the details of the budget may have changed since they were informed, as it is a work in progress.

The budget proposal will be voted on at next week's board meeting. Between now and then it is expected to change a number of times as the board members debate what is or is not a necessary cut.

Read More...

'I don't want them to take my teacher away,' says Miramonte Elementary student

Teacher Classroom Bondage

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Members of the media gather outside the Miramonte Elementary school on Friday. 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.

When sixth-grader Jasmine Garcia, 11, returns to class at Miramonte Elementary School on Thursday she will be greeted by an entirely new group of teachers and school staff.

She and her mother, Michelle Medina, 33, attended L.A. Unified's meeting for concerned parents Monday night where Superintendent John Deasy informed them of the drastic changes to the school including the relocation of all staff, after two teachers were arrested on lewd conduct charges last week.

"I don't think it's fair for teachers working there so many years," Medina said. "My daughter has been going to school since preschool and is about to graduate in June and the teacher is not going to be there. It's not fair."

Jasmine spoke quietly about what happened with an embarrassed smile.

"I think it's sad because my teacher helps me with a lot, I don't know, I don't want them to take my teacher away," Jasmine said.

Read More...

Former Loyola Elementary School student says music teacher was 'weird' with him in 1983

Loyola Village Elementary School

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

Gerald Nafpaktitis, 39, was a sixth grader at Loyola Village Elementary School's performing arts magnet in 1983 to 1984 when he got to know his music teacher Vance Miller, now accused of sexual abuse by multiple students.

At the time, Nafpaktitis was an 11-year-old student and Miller a 31-year-old teacher who had been teaching at LAUSD for about eight years.

For much of that school year, Nafpaktitis traveled with Miller weekly after class to the Westchester Family YMCA two miles away to play racquetball. Afterward the two would shower naked a couple feet away from each other in the locker room. Often they would then head to the Hollywood Bowl, where Miller worked as an usher, to see a show.

"His whole thing was like you have to shower after you get all sweaty before we go to the Hollywood Bowl," Nafpaktitis said.

Read More...

More details emerge on janitor arrested at Germain Street Elementary School

Germain Street Elementary School in Chatsworth

Screenshot via Google Maps

Some more details have emerged on Paul Adame, 37, a janitor at Germain Street Elementary School in Chatsworth who was arrested Sunday for lewd acts against a child.

According to district spokesman Tom Waldman, Adame has been employed by LAUSD since Oct. 16, 2000. On July 6, 2005 Adame accepted a position at Calahan Street Elementary School in Northrdige where he worked as a plant manager. On Dec. 1, 2010, Adame was transferred to Germain Street Elementary to work as a plant manager there. On Sept. 26, 2011 he became the school's buildings and grounds worker. Waldman said he did not have information on where Adame was employed between 2000 and 2005.

At a press conference Monday, LAPD officials said Adame has a misdemeanor conviction for driving without owners consent but no known history of sexual assault and is on "administrative leave." He will not be reassigned to another campus or have contact with school children. A phone message went out to parents Monday informing them of the arrest and crisis counseling will be available on campus Tuesday, Waldman said. 

Read More...