Sources: Entire Staff To Be Removed From Miramonte Elementary

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Sources say the Los Angeles Unified School District will be replacing the entire staff at Miramonte Elementary School this week.

They also plan to interview every student who is attending the school now and any students who have gone there in recent years.

Parents staged a protest Monday morning at a South Los Angeles elementary school where two teachers were arrested last week on suspicion of several bizarre sex crimes.

Parents began boycotting at Miramonte Elementary School at 7 a.m. Monday, demanding action from administrators.

“We are a community and if we don’t speak out, who’s going to speak out. I speak out for our children, everybody’s children,” a Miramonte parent told CBS2’s Kirk Hawkins.

Teacher Mark Berndt, a 30-year Los Angeles Unified School District veteran, was arrested Jan. 30 and charged with 23 counts of lewd acts on a child.

Berndt, 61, reportedly took an estimated 300 photos of students bound, gagged and blindfolded in his classroom between 2008 and 2010. Some photos show cockroaches being placed on the students’ faces. Others are being fed a milky-white substance on a spoon that lab tests confirm tested positive for the teacher’s DNA.

He was removed from the classroom in January 2011. Berndt left the district in March of that year.

Fellow teacher Martin Springer, 49, was arrested Friday after two of his former students told police they were fondled in his classroom.

Springer is still employed by the district but paperwork has been filed in order to fire him, LAUSD officials said. Springer is expected to be fired Tuesday at a special meeting.

“It is horrible and the violation of trust in public is something that is gonna to take time to recover, but LAUSD has a responsibility and a commitment to those families,” said LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia.

It’s still unclear whether there is any connection between the two suspects.

Classes will be canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday for pupil free days aimed at helping the district and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigations. It is unclear if the school will be open on Thursday.

Attorney Luis A. Carrillo of South Pasadena filed claims Monday against the District on behalf of six families in Berndt’s case.

“Everybody fell asleep and the wheel and the responsibility relies with the school district to protect the kids,” said Carrillo said.

He believes there could be hundreds of additional victims.

A meeting has been planned for 6 p.m. Monday at South Region 2 High School with parents and LAUSD administrators to discuss the latest on the teacher sex scandal.

Berndt is being held on $23 million bail. Springer has been booked on suspicion of lewd acts upon a child. His bail has been set at $2 million.

The district has established a hotline for anyone to call in with information about Miramonte. The line can be accessed at or 866-247-5877.

» South LA Teacher Arrested For Allegedly Taking Photos Of Students Bound, Gagged

» 2nd Teacher At Miramonte Elementary School Arrested For Alleged Lewd Acts Against Children

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  • Huh?

    This makes me doubt the whole school. What kind of school is that where the principal, aides, parent volunteers, specialists are not in and oout of the classroom? How did this guys get enough time to do that? The pricipal should be popping in and out of classrooms more often. The fact that this went on so long makes me think there was some negligence or accomplice going on.

  • James K

    Please be careful with the wording, the article seems to imply that this is a scandal at South Region HS #2 as well.

  • Smash Crasher

    Typical liberal, socialist DEMOCRATIC PEDOPHILES. They rape the taxpayers, why not the students?

    • reason

      Smash Crasher – typical cowardly i diot sitting behind his computer saying things he cant say to people in real life.

  • Smith-Garcia

    Transfer all the teachers,
    get rid of the administrators
    and shoot the molesters.

    Then send the illegals back to Mexico where it is safe. Who hires these illegals?

    • davis drake

      Why Mexico your ass needs to go back to school Illegals dont only come from mexico as thats Not the only Country that Illegals come from and whats does that have to do with the topic

  • whazup

    teacher’s unions protecting perverts. these jerks should have been fired long ago

  • simple

    demolish the school and let the kids transfer to school of choice…this is sickening

  • simple

    DEMOLISH the school and let the families choose ANY school of choice…this is sickening

  • George

    I’d look to the teachers’ union. They’re responsible for forcing rules that make it impossible to fire teachers, or even look into teacher behavior, evaluate teachers. As much as the LAUSD is a bunch of corrupt buffoons, thanks to union rules they’re probably afraid of and restricted from doing a more effective job of evaluating teachers, which ultimately makes it far easier to uncover these sorts of atrocities.

    • Brandon Lee

      The parents are only protesting non violently? Really, I blame this on all the lame Political Correctness nonsense. There is something very wrong where innocent children can be abused and it’s okay.

  • mom2

    school is to be the safest place. i say they close down the school. theres probably more teachers doing the same thing. most of the time the staff and principal sit there butt down all day. i mean in what kind of school do you have to make an appointment to see the princiapl.parents take your kids out of there now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!dont think about it , just do it

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  • Charlie

    Wow! these kids were only Blindfolded and not hurt.

    You people act like something really bad happened to them. If it did the Kids would be complaining.

    You are in Panic mode when you should have been talking to your Kids long before this so they can feel like they can talk to you..

    From your Reactions I’m sure these Kids are afraid to talk to you the way you place blame and Panic

    • Brandon Lee

      I almost was suspended for a week in High School for being attacked by a gang member. Later I basically had to apologize to the person to not make matters worse. , retaliation is no good. Before I say how much worse I feel about little kids being abused and how I as a future parent would feel, I will stop right here. Truly evil.

    • Something wrong with you Charlie

      Charlie, you have to be just as creepy and sick to not see that what he did hurt children.

      How could you write “You people act like something really bad happened to them.”.

      I can’t even continue commenting on your comment.


    Charlie! read the stories surrounding this sickening scandal. They were spooned fed semen! Adults are always freaking traumatizing children, they are innocent they didn’t deserve this! Demolish this school and fire each and everyone of these perverts especially the administrators. Just plain filthy!

    • Brandon Lee

      They should just make an example of the teachers. Tar and feather them on public TV. We all love Reality Shows.

  • Poll: Should LAUSD Clean House At Miramonte Elementary? « CBS Los Angeles

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  • Fire the whole staff and investigate ALL schools

    From when this news story broke, aside from my disgust and mental trauma of constantly listening to reporters repeat the things this creep did… I questioned HOW could he had gotten away with locking up kids in his classroom after school and the faculty, office staff, maintenance, etc. and QUESTIONED this man and others.

    From the start, I just felt that the staff, knowing how they are, just looked the other way, selfish, lazy, fat, slow, careless.

    I think the Principal, was that her interviewed on your news cast recently at school? She could hardly speak english right? Or am I wrong, anyway, they all need to be interrogated ignoring the obvious signs. Its akin to aiding and abetting.

    It reminds me of the whole Sandusky, Penn State affair. Where Paterno, in my view, was LOOKING THE OTHER WAY… these things don’t happen just because no one ever really notices, THEY DO. But, they facilitate, look the other way and then after the tragedy blame others.

    Jesus, this is a mess. If I were LAUSD, I’d look at EVERY SCHOOL and this fallout should go nationwide.

    A travesty.

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