New Developments in the Miramonte Scandal

Mark Berndt (left), Martin Springer (right)

In case you are following the Miramonte/Berndt case as closely as we are, here are a few updates from the past week. All headlines, articles, and quotes are from the Los Angeles Times.

  • Officials examining 1980s case alleging abuse by Miramonte teacher – “Sources familiar with the investigation stressed that the case is not related to the arrests last week of  two Miramonte teachers charged with  lewd acts against  students. Officials are looking at the old incident to get a better understanding of the culture and history of complaints at the school.”
  • Union accepts district assurance that teachers can return to Miramonte – “The Los Angeles teachers union has backed off from its claim that teachers transferred from Miramonte Elementary School won’t be allowed to return upon completion of an investigation into alleged child abuse.”
  • Teacher in Miramonte scandal was paid $40,000 to end fight over firing – “The payout consisted of four months of back salary plus reimbursement for the cost of health benefits. Berndt was fired by the Board of Education in February 2011 after officials learned that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was investigating him for alleged lewd acts against students.”
  • L.A. teacher accused of abuse released from jail – “A judge on Tuesday set bond at $300,000 and directed that  [Martin] Springer wear the monitor on his ankle. He must also stay 100 yards from the alleged victim and witnesses, and 250 feet from schools and parks, and may not be in the company of minors without a supervising adult.”
  • New Miramonte principal wants to help school return to normalcy – “I really want to help the school get back into a semblance of normalcy,” said new Principal Dolores Palacio, who came out of retirement to head Miramonte. “There are teachers here who are anxious to be here. We know what we are here for. We know it’s about the children and the parents and it’s not about us.”
  • Attorney calls for protection of parents in school abuse case –  “The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles asked for the sheriff to assure the parents that their immigration status will not be affected if they go to authorities with claims of abuse. “Families are not speaking up because they are scared of being deported,” attorney Jessica Dominguez said at a news conference Thursday morning.”