Two perverted teachers may not be enough to make a sex ring, but it’s getting kids two days off from a Los Angeles elementary school this week.
Miramonte Elementary, an L.A. Unified School District school in the unincorporated Florence neighborhood, will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday following the arrests of two teachers charged with sexual abusing their students. From the L.A. Times:
The district said the school would be closed to students Tuesday and Wednesday. It was open as usual Monday, and a number of parents went to the campus to protest the district's handling of situation.
Teacher Mark Berndt has been accused of feeding his students his semen, blindfolding them and placing cockroaches on their hands and faces. Berndt was put on leave a year ago and subsequently fired. He was arrested Jan. 30.
Teacher Martin Bernard Springer was accused of allegedly fondling students. He was ordered out of his classroom Thursday morning and was arrested Friday.
The New York Daily News has details on one girl whose parents complained about Berndt to Miramonte Principal Martin Sandoval in 2008. Rather than addressing their concerns, Sandoval transferred the girl to Springer’s class. Both teachers remained in place. During this time Berndt (not to be confused with an L.A. photographer of the same name) allegedly took more than 400 dirty pictures of children. Amazingly, Berndt was taking his photos in an archaic medium called “film” and was only caught when a CVS film processor blew the whistle on him.
The story is getting national attention, and I don’t want to be too opportunistic in using it against United Teachers Los Angeles (whose law firm represented Berndt after he was removed from class and will probably ensure he continues to get his pension).
But a note about Miramonte: Florence isn’t the worst place in the world, but it’s a lower-income area where the kids actually do fit the description union activists invariably use when telling their sob stories. In my experience, every teacher claims that his or her students are the wretched refuse of the education system. Nobody ever has the grace to allow that one or two kids might be motivated workers with attentive parents. As I said a while back:
It's a math miracle: Every single teacher only teaches kids who are at risk or underprivileged or special needs or special ed. Using teacher math I calculate that every kid in L.A., my own included, would instantly become a drooling homicidal gangbanger if not for the teachers unions.
The vicious class-based slander about parental inattention is belied by the uproar among Miramonte parents. This is exactly the kind of school that supposedly is why we need to spend so much money on public education for the neediest. Yet the school’s customers couldn’t even get a response to credible evidence that their kids were being sexually abused.