School Board Okays Investigators for Sexual Misconduct

LOS ANGELES (April 16) —The Los Angeles School Board today directed Superintendent John Deasy to develop a team of professional investigators to take the lead regarding allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against teachers and other employees—and a plan to speed up the process.

Sponsored by Board Vice President Tamar Galatzan, the resolution also sets strict timelines, which would more quickly exonerate or establish guilt in place of current procedures that in some cases have taken years.

“There is nothing more important than getting the most accurate, highest quality investigations of suspected physical or sexual abuse of a child, " said Galatzan, who worked for months with district staff, teachers, union members and parents to put together this resolution. “In the long run, not hiring professionally trained investigators will cost us money, put our children in jeopardy, and perpetuate a system that is often unfair to teachers trapped in the limbo of teacher jail.”

Board President Mónica García, a co-sponsor of the measure, said, “Kids and taxpayers win when all adults accept their responsibility to protect the rights of children. LAUSD must have a process when criminal and inappropriate behavior occurs and is dealt with it effectively and efficiently. That is what the 99.5% of all law abiding, hard-working employees deserve.”

Emphasizing safety for students and fairness for employees including teachers, the resolution called for additional improvements including informing employees of the specific accusations, unless doing so would jeopardize a law enforcement investigation. In the past, some teachers have been removed from the classroom, and housed in a location away from children without knowing why.

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Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766