AirTalk for February 6, 2012

Parents protest at Miramonte School amid sex abuse allegations

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 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.

Enraged parents protesting at Miramonte Elementary school today say they no longer feel their children are safe in the school’s classrooms after sex abuse allegations against two teachers. The demonstration sprang forth after a second teacher was arrested – Martin Bernard Springer. He was accused of fondling two girls in his class. Springer was arrested four days after former longtime teacher Mark Berndt was arrested for nearly two dozen, alleged acts of lewd conduct on his students.

Parents say they are angry because of the long, slow time it took for school officials to inform them of the scandals. The parents of one of Berndt’s victims say they approached school officials in 2008 complaining that Berndt was acting inappropriately in the classroom, but police dismissed the allegations after the girl was transferred to Springer’s class, where she was then fondled.

Meanwhile, school officials will close the elementary school on Tuesday and Wednesday to probe the allegations.

WEIGH IN:

How will Miramonte school officials handle this ordeal? Will parents pull their children out of school permanently? What form of legal action are parents taking? The victims’ attorneys contend that the school and Los Angeles Unified failed to protect students. Do you agree?

Guests:

Vanessa Romo, Education Reporter, KPCC

Tamira Long, Parent of a Miramonte student


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