It appears that in some places around the country teachers are so protected that even the most egregious behavior prevents appropriate sanctions.
Los Angeles Unified School District's often bizarre rules for disciplining teachers were exposed with the recent disclosure that former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct, including spoon-feeding children his semen, was quietly paid $40,000 to resign last year.
School officials, widely denounced in recent days for handing cash to an alleged sexual pervert, have responded that paying off Berndt to leave his job was far cheaper than firing him. [LA Weekly]
Now the school district is being accused of strong arming the parents of the children who were subjects of this abuse.
Alleged victims of abuse at Miramonte Elementary have until July 5 to accept recent settlement offers from the Los Angeles Unified School District, officials said Tuesday.
The school district pressed its point with a new website that emphasized that fact with a countdown clock clicking toward the deadline second by second.
Attorneys representing alleged victims have accused the district of trying to strong-arm their clients into settling for less than they deserve. They have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning to respond.
The damage claims stem from allegations that former teacher Mark Berndt spoon-fed his semen to blindfolded students as part of what he called a "tasting game," among other alleged incidents of abusive conduct.
Berndt, 62, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial. [LA Times]
As time marches on unions and other powerful groups will perhaps have carte blanche to run amok.