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Sexual abuse of students: What has Los Angeles done to stop it? (+video)

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Pimentel was immediately removed from the school last March, and, based on the new rules, the district notified parents of the allegations within 72 hours. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was also notified quickly.

Before the Board of Education could take action to dismiss Pimentel, he retired. He is being held on $12 million bail. The Los Angeles Times reports that the principal of the school was immediately removed, because the LAUSD superintendent was dissatisfied with how the incident had been handled. The principal had not properly reported allegations of misconduct by this teacher that arose in 2008, according to this report.

In November, a report by the California State Auditor found that many cases of employee misconduct against students had been reported to the credentialing commission a year or more later than they should have been. It also raised concerns about the time that elapsed between an investigation unit reporting on an allegation and the principal taking action against the teacher – eight months in one case.

The audit found that LAUSD has had to spend $3 million in salaries on the 20 employees who have been relocated from classroom sites for the longest periods of time because of allegations of sexual misconduct against students.

The district has taken steps to address such concerns, including many launched before the audit’s release. Among them:

  • Training last February districtwide helped employees and parents learn how to identify and engage in discussions about suspected abuse. Each school site must receive biannual child-abuse awareness training as well.
  • Educational Service Centers in the district began to offer more specialists in each local area to advise school leaders on misconduct issues.
  • The district has been lobbying state legislators about the difficulties of dismissing teachers for misconduct. District officials say it costs on average $300,000 per teacher and can take years.
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