Los Angeles School Staff Replaced

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, February 9, 2012

The decision to replace the entire staff of an elementary school here, where two former teachers stand accused of molesting students, sparked protests from some parents and students and applause from others.

The move by Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, unprecedented in the district, has divided the already distraught Miramonte Elementary School community.

Outside the school Tuesday morning, some parents signed petitions to keep the teachers at Miramonte. Children held up signs that read "Not fair" and "Not all teachers are criminals." The two teachers were arrested last week.

School officials said the school will remain closed Tuesday and Wednesday and reopen Thursday with a new staff of 128 employees, from teachers to janitors. The former staff will remain on the payroll, at a new school that hasn't opened yet, and will grade Miramonte student papers and do administrative paperwork, said Monica Carazo, a district spokeswoman. The move could be temporary, but she said the staff wouldn't return before the end of the school year. The new staff will be drawn from a list of laid-off teachers.

The decision comes amid criticism by parents for failing to alert them earlier to the allegations. One of the teachers was fired last year after the district learned of a sheriff's investigation into the allegations, the district said.

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