You could point the finger at a hot mess of targets in the incredible sex-abuse scandal that has rocked Miramonte Elementary School:
A school district that failed to let parents know an alleged molester on the loose for nearly a year. A teachers' union that puts its people over your kids (suspect Mark Berndt will keep a pension no matter what). The alleged pervs themselves -- Berndt, Martin Springer and Ricardo Guevara (actually that last one was convicted).
But really, there's only one dark force we can truly blame here:
The kids themselves.
That's right, when it comes down to it, these third graders put themselves in harm's way when they were allegedly molested by Berndt in ways we find it difficult to even repeat. (Read more here).
What's more, these children should have known to report the matter immediately.
One person at the L.A. Unified School District has it right: Rosewood Avenue Elementary Principal Linda Crowder.
On Monday she wrote a letter to parents and sent it home with her students. In it, she properly fingers the true culprits here -- children who failed to stand up for themselves while being heinously victimized.
The Huffington Post got a hold of the document, which reads, in part:
As I reflect on the disturbing occurrences at Miramonte, I am more confused over the fact that the children did not report. How is it that the children did not believe that what the teacher was doing to them was wrong? How could being blindfolded, placed in a closet, and having cockroaches placed on them not be wrong? I believe that the teachers involved in these heinous acts preyed on the most vulnerable of the children; children of poverty, children of abuse, children with uninvolved parents, and children of undocumented parents.
Word. Dumb spic anchor babies.
Tim Cavanaugh, father to children who attend Crowder's school, sent a reaction to Reason, further refining the principal's spot-on wisdom:
There is no way around the logic: She is arguing that it was the kids' fault for not reporting the incident.
Damn skippy, Timmy.
Of course, Cavanaugh points out (the publication is called Reason, after all), that Berndt was, in fact, the subject of previous student complaints about alleged lewd acts.
But still, these little tykes should have had the wherewithal to bring their teacher down.
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We called the school district to confirm that Crowder would be getting a commendation, or at least to suggest it.
[Update at 2:23 p.m.]: LAUSD spokesman Thomas Waldman got back to us, saying only: "We are aware of the letter and are discussing next steps."
Principal of the Year if you ask us.