US Catholic Faith in Real Life

LA school seems to have learned something from the church's sex abuse scandal

By Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The entire faculty and staff at a Los Angeles elementary school have been reassigned following the allegations that two male teachers engaged in sexual misconduct with students.

Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy said the reassignement of the entire faculty was necessary in order “to clear the school from a cloud of distrust and suspicion stemming from the arrest.” NPR reports that the teachers were instructed to prepare lesson plans for their replacements and be available for interviews during the investigation, but instead they marched to the teacher’s union, which claims the teachers are being “tarred and stigmatized for no reason.”  

"It is crystal clear that LAUSD doesn't have a plan," United Teachers Los Angeles President Warren Fletcher

Fletcher said. "They're making this up as they go along, and students at the school are paying the price."

But I can’t help but think the superintendent is acting in the best interest of the children. In all the high profile sex abuse scandals in the past few years, one thing we’ve learned is that workplaces can sometimes be in part to blame for continued abuse. People look the other way, convince themselves it’s not happening, or worse, attempt to cover it up.

This isn’t to say that any of this happened at the LA school. But it may have, and only a thorough investigation can clear that up. In the meantime, parents and students should feel confident knowing their school is safe and I think clearing the slate is the best way to achieve that.

The school district is already cash-strapped and the decision will cost it an additional $5.7 million. Additionally, the union says grievances will be filed against the school.