Over the past few days, I’ve received e-mails and phone calls from out-of-state friends and relatives asking, “Didn’t your kids attend Miramonte? Are they ok? Nothing happened to them, did it?” I then explain, “My two oldest went to Miramonte High School in Orinda, not Miramonte Elementary in Los Angeles.”
By now you’ve probably heard the disturbing allegations involving not one, but two of Miramonte Elementary’s teachers. The teachers are accused of committing incredibly lewd acts that I have no desire to detail in this post. If you are unfamiliar with the story, you can click here for one news article that does a good job of providing background information and an assessment of what’s currently happening. However, I’m sure a Google search will reveal many more similar news articles, if you’re interested.
In response to the allegations, the Los Angeles Unified School District transferred the entire 120-member staff to a school that’s under construction and replaced them with a set of new hires. The administrative staff, the teachers, and even the janitors are new to the school and the students. It’s also worth noting that this decision by the LAUSD is an expensive one. It’s costing the district nearly $6 million at a time when it, like many school districts in California, is struggling financially.
What do you think of LAUSD’s response? Was this a wise decision, necessary, as the LAUSD superintendent suggests, “to clear the school from a cloud of distrust and suspicion.” Or, is it too drastic of a move, needlessly causing even more stress to students as they must now adjust to having a new teacher? Should the financial implications play a role in the decision making process?
Motherlode, the parenting blog for the NYTimes, had an interesting assessment.
The message I hear is, “We don’t know how to know whom to trust.”
If that’s accurate, then I’m certainly not left with a great deal of faith in the public school system’s ability to protect children from predators. For the sake of our children, I hope the blogger is wrong.