LAUSD’s primary commitment to parents is to ensure that their children are safe from harm when attending schools in the district. That is why we believe LAUSD made the right decision to guarantee parents a completely new roster of school staff at Miramonte High School.
To some, the action may seem unfair because it puts everyone in the same basket, the innocent with the guilty. Surely, there are far more good teachers than bad, and those accused of perversions are an aberration.
Yet, the decision is right from the point of view of the administration. It is a concrete and direct first step to regain the trust of the parents. There are no doubts about the school’s priorities.
The Miramonte case reveals irregularities within the district itself, not just in the school. For example, it took the district a full year to notify the agency responsible to oversee credentials of the termination of the main suspect, Mark Berndt, instead of the 30 days required by law.
That said, School Superintendent John Deasy is demonstrating strong leadership to confront this type of crisis, which is unfolding within the context of very tense environment as the district awaits further budget cuts.
Meanwhile, the investigations and interviews with members of the staff removed from Miramonte continue. It is critical to identify cracks in the system and determine human errors that allowed this depraved behavior to continue for such a long time. It can never happen again.
The possibility that some teachers will be able to return to Miramonte after cleared by the investigation is calming the concerns of parents worried about the future of good teachers,
Miramonte is a school much-needed by the Latino and immigrant communities that it serves. We believe that LAUSD understands its importance, the seriousness of the situation and is acting responsibly.