Crime & Justice

Parents protest at Miramonte Elementary; news media banned from meeting

File: Parents protest at Miramonte Elementary School in South LA Monday.
File: Parents protest at Miramonte Elementary School in South LA Monday.
José Martinez/OnCentral

About 100 angry parents marched from Los Angeles's Miramonte Elementary School where two teachers are suspected of molesting students in class to a nearby meeting at South Region High School where administrators came to address parents' concerns.

Chanting demands for justice and answers in English and Spanish, the group walked from the school to the meeting being held by the district superintendent about half a mile away.

School officials, including Superintendent John Deasy, intended to address parents' concerns at the meeting.

Officials didn't allow news media into the meeting. Some parents were also angered that they couldn't get in.

New faculty are scheduled to be brought into Miramonte over the next two pupil-free days, KPCC's Tami Abdollah reports. Parents will have the choice to stay once they return Thursday or have kids go to another school in the area, said district spokesman Tom Waldman.

Authorities on Jan. 30 charged 61-year-old teacher Mark Berndt with committing lewd acts on 23 children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. Another teacher, 49-year-old Martin Springer, was arrested Friday on suspicion of fondling two girls in his classroom.

Nearly a quarter of students at the elementary school stayed home Monday.

This story has been updated.