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Teachers union prez weighs in on LAUSD board measures to beef up discipline

UTLA President Warren Fletcher
UTLA President Warren Fletcher
Grant Slater/KPCC

UTLA President Warren Fletcher said today the union would support two L.A. Unified board resolutions to beef up the district's employee discipline procedures if they include "vigorous and fair investigations of all allegations of misconduct." The measures will be voted on by the board Tuesday.

The measures come after a recent spate of reported teacher misconduct cases including one former Miramonte Elementary School teacher was charged with 23 lewd acts upon a child.

In a statement, Fletcher also reminded board members that "we are in the current situation because LAUSD has not met basic standards of vigilance on a daily basis."

"LAUSD’s failure of supervision led to a situation at Miramonte Elementary where a single principal supervised staff and more than 1,400 students, with no assistant principal," Fletcher said.

The union has remained relatively quiet about the district's response to the sex-abuse scandals, though it spoke against the removal of the entire Miramonte Elementary School staff. The school's staff remains at the unopened Augustus Hawkins High School campus, which is still under construction.

Many of the measures proposed in response to the recent increase in sex-abuse reporting have focused on how teachers are hired, transferred, and dismissed as well as how complaints are recorded and filed with the district and the state.

On Friday, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing said it was scrambling to deal with an influx of reports from L.A. Unified, including 83 previously unreported misconduct cases.

More from the Fletcher's statement:

"LAUSD must not continue its pattern of hasty, misguided responses, such as the removal of the entire Miramonte staff

To ensure the safety of our students, school board members and District officials must commit to the important work of conducting thorough and sober investigations. All parties must avoid the temptation to grandstand in the face of this critical situation.

LAUSD has 36,000 dedicated teachers who do amazing work every day educating the children of Los Angeles. They take seriously the sacred trust they are given as public school educators."

KPCC is following up with the district on some of these points. More to come.


UTLA spokeswoman Marla Eby said the decision on whether or not to support the motions is made by the United Teacher Los Angeles policy-making body, which is the House of Representatives.

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