New Staff Prepares for Miramonte School Reopening - NBC Southern California

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

New Staff Prepares for Miramonte School Reopening

Miramonte prepares to reopen after a two-day shutdown to replace its staff



    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)

    Final preparations were underway late Wednesday night for the reopening of Miramonte Elementary School, in the wake of a highly publicized abuse scandal. But many Miramonte parents are not happy. 

    The decision to remove all staff members at Miramonte was met with mixed emotions this week as the replacement employees prepared to reopen the school after a two-day shutdown.

    Students are expected to return to school Thursday when they will be greeted by new teachers and staff members, who attended orientation sessions and met with outgoing staff members Wednesday.

    Contisia Davis, a special education assistant, found out on Wednesday she was being reassigned to Miramonte, effective immediately.

    New Staff Prepares for Miramonte Reopening

    [LA] New Staff Prepares for Miramonte Reopening
    Miramonte Elementary reopens Thursday with a brand new staff. Many of the new teachers spent Wednesday preparing for the move.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012)

    "It's not always that you will be positioned at one school. You can be asked to move around. If there's help needed, you have to be ready," Davis said.

    Parents will be allowed in their child's classroom for 30 minutes for the first week of the school's reopening, said Susan Cox with LAUSD.

    The removal of the entire staff was ordered by Superintendent John Deasy after the arrest of two teachers accused of molesting students.

    Will School Scandal Impact Families' Legal Status?

    [LA] Will School Scandal Impact Families' Legal Status?
    The scandal at at Miarmonte Elementary School may have some unforeseen consequences. Some local immigrant families are faced with the difficult choice of whether or not to speak out, while fearing the possible risk of deportation.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012)


    A third arrest was anticipated in the growing Miramonte Elementary School scandal, but the possibility has now been eliminated by police.

    The new staff members will be screened for previous complaints, according to the district.

    Miramonte Parents, Students Unhappy With Restaffing

    [LA] Miramonte Parents, Students Unhappy With Restaffing
    At first, parents at Miramonte Elementary School were upset that the school board was not doing enough to protect their children from accused child molesters. But now they said a complete overhaul of the school's staff is too drastic.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012)


    More than 200 parents signed and delivered a petition to the superintendent on Wednesday, asking him to reconsider his decision to replace the Miramonte staff. The petition also called for background checks and psychological tests for new teachers.

    "We should be doing this periodically every few years, make sure the teacher is still well enough to teach our kids, and make sure our kids are still safe enough with that teacher," parent Leo Delgado said.

    As for the removed staff members, they will be transferred to Augustus Hawkins High School, a facility under construction in South Los Angeles. Details regarding what roles the former Miramonte staffers will be given at Hawkins were not immediately available. The Hawkins school is expected to open in the fall. 

    The outgoing staff members will be counseled and interviewed as part of the child abuse investigation. An independent commission led by retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Moreno will conduct the district's investigation. Former students and staff members at Miramonte also will be interviewed.

    The school is under scrutiny after the arrests of former teachers Mark Berndt and Martin Bernard Springer. Berndt was arrested Jan. 30 and charged with lewd acts involving 23 children.

    A film processor provided authorities with 40 images that showed the former teacher with children, some of whom had blindfolds over their eyes and spoons of semen held to their mouths.

    Springer was arrested later that week. He was charged Tuesday with three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child.

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