Education

LAUSD schools got early warnings about abusive teacher Mark Berndt

Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 62, is seen during his change-of-plea hearing in Los Angeles Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.
Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 62, is seen during his change-of-plea hearing in Los Angeles Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

The Los Angeles Unified School District received a complaint three decades ago about possible sexual misconduct involving a teacher who was later accused of blindfolding students and spoon-feeding them his semen on cookies in what he called tasting games.

The Los Angeles Times reports Saturday that documents recently made public in lawsuits brought by students and their parents show the district had multiple prior complaints about teacher Mark Berndt.

The newspaper reports that a 1983 memo by a school principal recounted how a parent complained that Berndt dropped his pants on a student field trip.

District spokesman Sean Rossall says Berndt did much to conceal his "misdeeds."

The Miramonte Elementary School teacher was arrested in 2012 and given a 25-year sentence last year after pleading no contest to 23 counts of lewd conduct.