Human-Rights · United States

School in Los Angeles suspends entire staff over sex scandal

The entire staff of an elementary school in Los Angeles has been suspended after two of its long-serving teachers were arrested for sexually abusing student children.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Tuesday that all the 128-person staff at the Miramonte elementary school would be suspended for a thorough investigation of the issue.

The move came after two teachers, Mark Berndt and Martin Springer, were detained in connection with the scandal.

Last week, 61-year-old Berndt, was charged with sexually abusing 23 children between 2005 and 2010. The authorities cited him as blindfolding the 6 to 10-year-old kids and performing lewd acts on them.

Berndt, who was a teacher at the school for 32 years, is likely to face life in prison if convicted.

Springer, 49, who has been a teacher at Miramonte for his entire career of more than 25 years, was also arrested Friday on suspicion of abusing two girls in his classroom.

Investigators, however, have said that they are unaware of any connection between the two cases at Miramonte.

According to figures from the Los Angeles Unified School District, only 72 percent of the students at Miramonte attended the school on Monday and about 100 angry parents and supporters protested in front of the school’s main doors. Some of the protesters were carrying a banner that read, “We the parents demand our children be protected from lewd teacher acts.”

 

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