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State Legislature To Vote On Bill That Would Crack Down On Teacher Misconduct

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(credit: Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The California State Legislature is addressing the escalating crisis of teacher misconduct.

The State Assembly Education Committee will vote on a bill Wednesday that would expedite the process of removing teachers who engage in criminal behavior.

The bill was introduced in the wake of the scandal at Miramonte Elementary School, where two teachers have been accused of criminal misconduct involving children.

Mark Berndt, a former Miramonte Elementary School teacher, pleaded not guilty in February to 23 counts of committing a lewd act on a child involving 23 children.

Berndt, 61, is accused of taking photos of students while they were bound and gagged in his classroom. Some photos show cockroaches being placed on students’ faces, while others show them being spoon fed a milky-white substance that tested positive for Berndt’s DNA.

Martin Springer, 49, also pleaded not guilty to three counts of lewd acts upon a child. His charges stem from allegedly fondling a former female student between April and June of 2009.

If passed, the bill would also end the current four-year limit on the use of evidence from past allegations and remove teachers if there is reasonable suspicion of a crime.

The State Senate is also considering a similar measure.

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