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Berndt Molestation Case: The Failure is Catastrophic … and Across the Board

THE MEDDLERS HAVE OVERLOOKED THE KIDS-How could it happen? How could it be that there are so many reprehensible allegations against the same man over the course of a few years, and yet there is not even one public record of a single complaint against him?
The allegations coming out of the Mark Berndt case--some of which the LAUSD has had in pocket since last March, when he was fired--are not for the squeamish. In fact, they are barely palatable to hardened detectives. But how--how could it be that there isn't a comprehensive paper trail of parent complaint available? How could not a single child express concern to a single parent, and not a single parent express concern to the failed LAUSD?  "There was no student who ever came forward," Deasy insists.

Beyond that, we are only told that the parents of the children are "mostly poor Latinos." The tipoff that Berndt may have committed crimes came from outside of the system--too late for dozens of families.

The people who dared to tinker with the education system over the past decade--from the Mayor to the billionaires to the board members to the Superintendent to the perpetually sparring groups who say they're all there for the children--the people who have created the climate of perpetual scapegoating, perpetual finger-wagging, perpetual conflict--these are the people who have given us the kind of system, after so many decades, that produces a result like today's.

John Deasy and Monica Garcia should resign their posts immediately. The Mayor should point a finger at himself, for six years of "reforms" that have stressed the District to the point of criminal omission. The UTLA leadership should join him in owning a most grave mea culpa. Education charlatans Eli Broad and Dick Riordan should as well, and should never be allowed to touch education again.

Together, these various player-bandits have all failed the children, creating the possibility of this most shameful, most infamous day in the history of public education in Los Angeles, and the nation's worst school day since Columbine.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at where this article first appeared.) –cw

Tags: Joseph Mailander, child molestation, LAUSD, Mark Berndt, John Deasy, Monica Garcia, Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, schools, LA Schools, kids

Vol 10 Issue 10
Pub: Feb 3, 2012