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

LA Unified to consider new policy changes in response to Miramonte and other misconduct cases

Grant Slater/KPCC

Parents of students at Miramonte Elementary School escort they children out of school on February 6, 2012.

L.A. Unified's Board of Education will consider a resolution at their next meeting that orders the superintendent to reexamine and reassess all complaints of sexual, physical abuse or harassment logged in its system over the last five years, as well as create standards on how and when the district informs parents of abuse allegations against an employee.

The resolution is being crafted by school board member Nury Martinez, who has spoken out about the need for a policy that improves communication between the district and parents, after many parents learned about the arrests of their children's teachers for sexual misconduct through media reports over the last weeks.

LAUSD is already conducting an internal investigation into whether it notified the state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing of accused teachers, and will (re)report all misconduct cases to the commission over the last three academic years to ensure no one slipped through the cracks.

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LA Unified combs through emails, employee relations office files, logs and databases

Grant Slater/KPCC

Parents of students at Miramonte Elementary School escort they children out of school on February 6, 2012.

LAUSD spokesman Thomas Waldman provided more details today on the internal investigation into the district's reporting of teachers accused of misconduct to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Superintendent John Deasy said Wednesday the district would be refiling all reports of teacher misconduct over the last three academic years to ensure no cases slipped through the crack as has been recently reported in two instances by the media.

According to Waldman, district officials will be going through the email records of past L.A. Unified mandated reports that were sent to the commission. They will also look at any email records retrieved by the IT department from district servers and backup records. Officials will look through employee relations office files, logs and databases; data from the Los Angeles County Office of Education; and any correspondences or reports that have come in from the commission or that may have been misplaced, Waldman said. 

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LA Unified to review files on teacher misconduct over last 3 years and report to state agency

Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Parents and children protest outside Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, February 6, 2012.

L.A. Unified will go back and report (or re-report) every case of a teacher accused of misconduct over the last three years to the state credentialing commission as part of an internal investigation into its failure to provide a timely report on former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, who is accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children.

"I ordered my staff to re-file every single report over the last three academic years and of course the year that I'm in now, just as an abundance of caution, to make sure that no particular case slipped through the cracks and to be quite clear that every case was sent to the commission on teacher credentialing," Superintendent John Deasy told KPCC on air today during his regular monthly radio talk.

Deasy, who appeared in the KPCC studio with a black ash mark on his forehead for Ash Wednesday, declined to speak with KPCC's education reporters. However, he was asked some of their questions on air.

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Supt. Deasy acknowledges LAUSD violated law by failing to notify state about accused Miramonte teacher

Protestors march near Miramonte Elementa

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Protestors march near Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012. Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy informed parents at a community meeting that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School after the arrests last week of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

Superintendent John Deasy acknowledged today that LAUSD violated state law when it failed to notify a state agency responsible for teacher credentialing of the suspension of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, who is accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children. Deasy said the district has launched an internal investigation to determine why this happened.

The story was first reported Thursday by KPCC, which provided the district with a letter addressed to Deasy from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing dated Wednesday that stated that the district's failure to provide a timely report on teachers posed a "potential risk to student safety."

The state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing suspended Berndt's credential on Jan. 31, the same day he was arrested and charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct on children. But according to the state code of regulations and the education code, the superintendent is required to inform the credentialing commission of Berndt's February 2011 suspension without pay by mid-March of 2011.

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

Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012. Deasy earlier informed parents at a community meeting that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School after the arrests of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

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)."

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