Reporting Ed Mertz
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Southland lawmaker on Monday called for an audit of the Los Angeles Unified school district over its handling of multiple child molestation cases.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports Assemblyman Ricardo Lara of South Gate said it’s time to get some answers from district officials.
“My goal is to ensure that everything is being done to protect our kids,” said Lara, whose district includes Miramonte Elementary, where two teachers have pleaded not guilty to child abuse charges involving students.
Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said he has been shocked both by the growing number of child molestation cases and the district’s response, and wants to find out how much the LAUSD has paid in what he calls “secret settlements” involving child molestation allegations along with ensuring efforts to prevent more abuses.
When it comes to removing teachers with any connection to abuse cases, Lara, who also serves as the chair of the powerful Joint Legislative Audit Committee, called for a district-wide review to “investigate and see if LAUSD followed procedures”.
“I think everything should be on the table now,” said Lara.
He hopes the audit will clarify the responsibilities of all those involved in the day-to-day operations within a school district that currently faces dozens of sexual abuse complaints.
“I’m trying to figure out what the role of law enforcement is, the role of the unions, and the role of the school district,” said Lara. “I think this audit will give us the necessary answers we need.”
A hearing on the audit is planned for Wednesday.