Back in February, after the world found out what Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt had allegedly been feeding his blindfolded third-graders (hint: his semen), the Los Angeles Unified School District erupted in scandalous accusations against other teachers.
Pervy, unfit educators had apparently been protected by their unions and negligent supervisors for years. So new LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy had to do something drastic...
... to prove he was serious about reversing a culture of blind teacher-trusting and victim-shaming that had developed within the nation's second-largest K-12 system.
And that he did. Deasy ordered district staffers to dig through every last LAUSD teacher file for past allegations of misconduct, then submit them to the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing. He ordered the same of LAUSD principals, who bawked at the notion of having to sift through disorganized stacks and desk drawers all across campus.
But the superintendent stood firm. And we're sure glad he did:
According to SIA Cabinet Report, 573 cases of teacher misconduct have been submitted to the commission over the last three months. Of these, only 95 had been submitted back when the alleged misconduct took place -- which shows you what a horrendous accountability dance the district was doing under former Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
Anyway, of the 478 new cases, the commission has reportedly determined that 373 are serious enough to investigate.
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So now it's the Commission on Teacher Credentialing that's bawking at Deasy's high order. From the Cabinet Report:
The referrals have more than doubled the disciplinary workload the agency typically handles over an entire year and comes at a time when the commission is under severe pressure to cut spending.
Nanette Rufo, director of the Professional Practices Division, said... "I can't hide that we've got some real challenges."
We've contacted LAUSD to find out if the district has any more cases left to submit, and the commission to inquire into the nature of the existing ones.
Do keep in mind, though, that these aren't all sex crimes against kids; "misconduct" can include other crimes committed outside of school, or be drug/alcohol-related, etc. But for the commission to consider yanking a teacher's credentials, as they apparently are with 373 teachers at LAUSD, the allegations must be serious. Serious enough that we should probably be worried about the accused hanging out with (and supposedly educating) our kids all day.