Los Angeles News

Canoga Park middle-school teacher removed from classroom

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An LAUSD teacher has been removed from the classroom amid accusations of inappropriate behavior with students at John Sutter Middle School in Canoga Park.

Another teacher reportedly told the district that he suspected there had been acts of child abuse against several students. Parents found out Thursday out about the latest allegation.

"He overheard these kids talking in his classroom about this other teacher," said attorney Brian Claypool at a news conference. "So he intervened and said, 'What are you all talking about?' And then these kids opened up to him and said, 'Hey, we feel very uncomfortable around this teacher. We're afraid.'"

Claypool represents 11 families in a child abuse case at Miramonte Elementary School. He says at Sutter Middle School the allegations involve inappropriate touching. He says the teacher who found out about it informed administrators, giving them a letter outlining the allegations. But he says that at the time nothing was done about it.

"And we've learned from Miramonte that 20 years ago nothing was done to take those complaints serious, and had they been taken serious, we could have avoided the entire Miramonte tragedy," said Claypool. "What we want to accomplish today on behalf of these teachers, speaking out for these teachers, is that we want to avoid a repeat of Miramonte."

After the news conference, the LAUSD issued a statement:

"This afternoon a teacher has been removed from the classroom. No more details. We will not release a name, grade level, allegation, etc. He is being housed in a non-teaching office," wrote Moncia Carazo, LAUSD public information officer.

The LAUSD also announced Thursday the district is now adopting a new policy mandating that parents be notified within 72 hours when an employee at their school is removed for allegations of sexual misconduct against a student, unless specifically directed not to do so by law enforcement.

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