Complete coverage of the sexual abuse scandal at a South Los Angeles elementary school

Reassigned Miramonte Teachers Break Silence

A rally was held Thursday at which teachers read anonymous statements about their experiences

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Miramonte Elementary School teachers read anonymous statements, at times through tears, written by their colleagues, now housed at Augustus Hawkins High School. The words represent the collective voice of nearly 90 teachers and a total of 128 staffers who were transferred from Miramonte after the arrest of two former teachers on charges of sexual abuse against students. Lolita Lopez reports from South LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 3, 2012. (Published Friday, May 4, 2012)

    Miramonte Elementary School teachers who were transferred out in the wake of a sex abuse scandal spoke out Thursday afternoon about their time working at a yet-to-be opened high school across town.

    The "UTLA South Area Action" was held at Augustus Hawkins High School, where the teachers were reassigned Feb. 13 after two Miramonte teachers were arrested in separate sex abuse cases.

    Former Miramonte Teachers Get New Assignment

    [LA] Former Miramonte Teachers Get New Assignment
    Former Miramonte Elementary School teachers arrive at Augustus Hawkins School on Feb. 13, 2012 for professional development. They were also set to be questioned by the LA County Sheriff's Department about the Miramonte sex abuse investigation. NBC4's Lolita Lopez reports from Florence on Feb. 13. (Published Thursday, May 3, 2012)

    The teachers have been quiet during the ordeal, even warned by union officials not to speak out for fear of retaliation.

    "It was surreal and I thought to myself what did I do to deserve this? We were kept in the dark," one former Miramonte teacher said. "I found myself having to dress up just to raise my spirits and feel like I was going to work."

    Back to School at Miramonte

    [LA] Back to School at Miramonte
    The school district's decision to replace the entire Miramonte Elementary School staff because of the abuse scandal is making many parents angry (Published Thursday, Feb 9, 2012)

    Even though the reassigned teachers came forward Thursday, they would not identify themselves as they read anonymous statements, written and drafted by former Miramonte Elementary teachers.

    "I no longer tell people I am a teacher. Until very recently I was proud to be one. I still am sort of in my own quiet way," another former Miramonte teacher said through tears.

    Miramonte Students Return to School

    [LA] Miramonte Students Return to School
    Students returned to class Thursday at Miramonte Elementary School, where the entire staff was replaced following the arrests of two former teachers on charges of committing lewd acts with students. (Published Friday, Feb 10, 2012)

    Full Coverage | About Miramonte | Timeline of Events

    The words represent the collective voice of nearly 90 teachers and a total of 128 staffers who were transferred to the high school under construction in February after the arrest of two former teachers on charges of sexual abuse against students.

    It's the first time they have come forward following the move by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. Deasy has previously said he took the unprecedented move to try and preserve the integrity of the sex abuse investigation.

    In an interview with NBC4's Conan Nolan, Deasy defended his decision.

    The 128 former Miramonte employees reported to work at Hawkins in February where they were assigned to receive counseling, be interviewed by officials investigating abuse allegations at their former school, and prepare school lessons.

    Faculty and staff were not to have contact with children during their time at the 15-acre campus, which is still under construction and is expected to open this fall.

    The teachers are expected to go back to Miramonte next year, if there are positions for them.

    "They were moved out with a staff of 85. Next year they'll be returning to a site with a staff of 45, so we have an outstanding number of teachers that are now left having to interview for jobs," said Ingrid Villeda, UTLA South Area chair.

    LAUSD would not comment on the incident despite repeated requests.

    After reports about the scandal broke, Miramonte was shut down for two days, but students returned Feb. 9.

    UTLA protested the transfer along with parents, saying it would have damaging effects on their children’s academic progress and is unfair to teachers who did nothing wrong.

    UTLA has filed a grievance on behald of the teachers.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts