Friday, February 17, 2012

Los Angeles public schools failed to deal properly with child abuse

The arrest of a public school teacher here early this month came with plenty of vivid details, thanks to hundreds of photographs that the police say show the teacher covering the eyes and mouths of children with tape and allowing cockroaches to crawl over faces. 

Those accusations alone were enough to prompt outrage. But more came: Another teacher at the same school was arrested on charges of sexually abusing children. Then came news reports that two aides at the school had been fired after being accused of abuse, and that one had been sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

Within days, other allegations surfaced at schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District: A high school music teacher was removed after being accused of showering with students; a third-grade teacher was being investigated for more than a dozen accusations of sexual abuse; an elementary school janitor was arrested and accused of lewd acts against a child. And on Wednesday, a high school softball coach and special education teacher was arrested on charges of sending inappropriate messages to children over the Internet.[...]

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