Why Are Schools Allowing Sexual Predators?
Teaching is not a job. but a vocation, they say. Many people would not, and do not, take on the extreme responsibility of teaching children. Yet for some people, it seems to be a perfect way to be near youngsters for reasons other than teaching.
We know that there’s a great number of fantastic teachers out there, doing their best with state budget cuts and mandatory testing. But we’re worried that the administration of school districts out there are allowing some individuals to get away with some alleged unconscionable conduct.
Where was the administration at Miramonte Elementary School-for 30 years, they had no idea of any allegations about one of their teachers? And they seem to be coming out of the woodwork at the moment. Just today there’s been another news report of a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Inglewood Unified School District being accused of sexual misconduct with students. George Hernandez fled after he was charged, and remains at large.
Is it just our national consciousness that is now sensitive to this issue? Or are young people making accusations just to get media attention? Or is it down to the schools? The LA Times article today states that the LA school district did not report the three police investigations of Hernandez to the state credentialing commission, and the Inglewood school district did not follow its own procedures of fully vetting his background before hiring him. That’s two safeguards for the students that were blatantly ignored by the school district.
What also worries us, for both the prosecution and defense in these cases, the Miramonte case in particular, is that students are being interviewed on television about their experiences with alleged molester Mark Berndt, like on Dr. Phil last week.
This leaves defense attorneys, according to a KPCC piece last week, dealing with potential jurors who have heard what is essentially testimony-but not from witnesses under oath and without the benefit of cross-examination. And it’s not all rosy for prosecutors either: Whatever their future clients could come back to haunt them during the trial.
“Whenever a witness, a parent talks outside the courtroom, it ends up inside the courtroom,” former prosecutor and current law professor at Loyola University Laurie Levenson said on the Madeleine Brand Show. “People are more likely to say what’s sensational because that’s what sells to the camera.”
And most of these children do not understand the seriousness and scope of what they are discussing, and that’s what makes it so scary-what if they have misunderstood what happened? Is their testimony valid?
How do you feel about these cases, which seem to be more and more frequently on the news recently? Do you have an experience you’d like to share? Perhaps you have children in one of these schools and are appalled by the districts’ lack of responsibility? Perhaps you’ve been falsely accused and would like changes to be made to prevent that from happening to others? Please let us know in the comments, below.
At the Law Offices of Glew & Kim, we see all clients as innocent until proven guilty, and believe in equal justice for all. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crime and needs honest, unbiased defense, please call us immediately on 714-713-4525 or use our online form for a free case analysis.
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This is not an attorney-client communication, and as such no advice is being offered in this article. Any and all communications related to the Glew & Kim Law website should be deemed and considered advertisement. This article is purely opinion, and the basis of this and any opinion was formed subject to the reporting by the actual news agencies, the information from which was used as source material.