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Archived: EDITORIAL: Miramonte School Scandal Demands Greater Transparency at LAUSD

The sordid news coming out of Miramonte Elementary School in the Florence area has not only shocked us, it has also angered us. That any school employee could for so long engage, undeterred, in the abuse of young students, can only be seen as a sad reflection of the lackadaisical supervision of teachers by administrators at the school.

In light of recent revelations that more than one parent had brought the teacher’s “questionable” behavior to the attention of school officials, it is unimaginable that the teacher was not under the constant watchful eye of those same administrators.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, LAUSD, has a huge number of administrators, far greater than other school districts in the state and nation, yet it seems to be unable to find enough of them to ensure that mandated procedures, such as the reporting of complaints of sexual contact between a teacher and a student. Where was everyone?

Now the school district has shown an even greater disdain for the parents of Miramonte by the heavy handed way district police were allowed to treat them, intimidate them, search them, and refuse their request to allow the media to go into the meeting with them.

We appreciate Superintendent Deasy’s decision to act quickly and forcefully in this case, as a way to show parents and students that they take the safety of students seriously.

But for too long, true transparency has not been the district’s forte. That needs to change, what is there to hide? Hasn’t much of the information already been made public?

This newspaper has always been supportive of the LAUSD, its Board of Education, teachers, administrators and for the most part UTLA, but we are surprised that there has been complete silence and few apologies to the public — which pays dearly for the schools, the students and parents — for their combined failure to act on behalf of their innocent charges.