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

Sunland middle school teacher removed pending investigation

Students bus Loyola Village Elementary School

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

Students enter an LAUSD bus.

LAUSD has removed yet another teacher this week, this time at Mount Gleason Middle School in Sunland. The teacher was removed from the classroom as police investigate allegations of "inappropriate conduct," according to school officials.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the school district sent students at Mt. Gleason Middle School home with a letter about the investigation and said it is working closely with the LAPD. The statement said that the school district was directed by police not to release further details.

"Crisis counselors and psychiatric social workers are available to work with students that might be impacted by the removal of the teacher," according to the statement, as reported by the Times. "The district takes each and every reported act of misconduct seriously. We are committed to aggressively pursuing each case to determine the truth and, if necessary, initiate the appropriate disciplinary measures."

Read More...

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.

Read More...

Update: Task force on UC Davis pepper spraying incident to release report in March

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

The University of California released an update today on the progress of a task force investigating a November incident in which peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed by UC Davis campus police.

Retired California Supreme Cout Justice Cruz Reynoso, who heads the task force sent UC President Mark Yudof a letter dated Wednesday stating that the task force has met five times to review the events of Nov. 18 and plan to delay the Feb. 21 release of their report by at least a week to early March.

The report will outline recommendations for Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Yudof on how "improvements to police procedures, command protocols, and campus policies and oversight structures that will help ensure that the rights and safety of nonviolent protestors and the entire campus community are protected."

Read More...

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)."

Read More...

Miramonte abuse scandal: LAUSD failed to notify California credentialing commission of accused teacher's suspension

Mark Berndt

L.A. Sheriff's Department

The Los Angeles Unified School District violated state law by waiting nearly a year to inform the agency that oversees teacher credentials that it had moved to dismiss former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children.

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 LAUSD should have informed the credentialing commission of Berndt's February 2011 suspension without pay by mid-March of 2011.

The district paid Berndt a $40,000 settlement in June to ensure, it says, that he would no longer work for LAUSD and resign. But with his credential intact, Berndt could have legally obtained employment as a teacher at another district up until January 31.

Read More...