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LA Unified to replace staff at Miramonte Elementary after sex-abuse scandal rocks school

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

L.A. Unified will be replacing the staff at Miramonte Elementary School in South Los Angeles with an entirely new faculty while the school is closed over the next two days, a district spokesman said.

Superintendent John Deasy is meeting with concerned parents at South Region High School tonight after two teachers at the school were arrested on separate cases. Media were not allowed into the meeting.

Mark Berndt is charged with 23 counts of lewd acts against students from 2005 to 2010, and Martin Springer is charged with two counts of lewd acts.

"The superintendent is going to talk about what's going to go forward with the school," said district spokesman Tom Waldman. "What the plan is, I can confirm, is there will be a relocation of the staff of that school to another location. There will be a whole new faculty brought in to teach there. But I don't know how many that is."

Parents can decide to return to the school on Thursday, or they will be given the option of transferring to one of several schools in the area, Waldman said.

The teacher's union, United Teachers Los Angeles, put out a statement Monday on the changes at Miramonte Elementary and said it had been informed by Deasy about what would happen to staff.

UTLA leaders and staff have met with teachers at the school, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support the Miramonte community. We support a thorough, vigorous and fair investigation of all allegations. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that any and all allegations are thoughtfully and carefully investigated.

This is an incredibly trying time for the staff, students, and parents at the school.  It is also a wrenching time for all educators, because we care so deeply about the students we teach. The safety, welfare, and education of students is our number one priority. We know that the public understands that the vast majority of teachers are doing remarkable work every day to motivate and educate the children of Los Angeles.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).