Friday, June 1, 2012

LAUSD Sabotages Harassment Settlement, Imposes Abuser’s Name on School

A settlement with an employee who accused formed LAUSD Sup. Ramon Cortines of sexual harassment may be coming apart at the seams over both the disputed terms of the agreement and the disclosure of the victim’s name by LAUSD without his consent, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday. The proposed settlement would have required the accuser to resign from his post in exchange for $200,000 and lifetime benefits.

The settlement proposal was announced by LAUSD before the victim had a chance to sign it. One point of contention was the value of the lifetime benefits, which the victim believes was agreed to be $300,000, whereas the district publicly announced a value of $250,000.

It was not clear from the Times article whether the victim has agreed to resign. State law prohibits an employer from firing an employee because he has filed sexual harassment charges against his employer, but they can tie a voluntary settlement to his resignation. However, considering that his yearly salary (not including benefits) was $150,000, it would not be surprising if he was unwilling to accept this conditon.

In related news, a delegation from the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts met with Board of Education President Monica Garcia to request a name change for the school. While it is completely reasonable to not want one’s school named after an accused harasser, the controversy over the naming of this school has a longer and more sordid history. According to the Times, Garcia and her colleagues overrode an earlier pledge to give students, parents and teachers a say in the naming of their school, and then imposed the Cortines name on them. Now Garcia is ignoring parent’s and teacher’s claims that the stigma of the name is harming student and teacher morale, arguing that the school’s name is a good one since Cortines promoted the arts and played a key role in the development of the school.

It is disturbing and ironic that LAUSD fired the entire staff at one school because of the sexual misconduct of two teachers, yet just a few years earlier had actively covered up the sexual misconduct allegations against its own superintendent and then allowed him to retire with benefits (see here).


  1. To be fair, molesting 7 year olds is not the same ss hitting on a subordinate in the office. However, punishing almost 100 teachers and their students ( the kids wanted their teachers back in class & parents supported that which speaks volumes) for the misdeeds of a couple creeps us indeed unconscionable. Specially when the administrators and officiaos involved are ultimately responsible for the circumstances that created the situation in the first place.
    1.MEs is the laargest ES in the state. Yet it only had half as many admin on staff as most schools in LAUSD.
    2. LAUSD was well aware of Berndt's record.he was hired with a record of child abuse to begin with and there was an investigation in the 90s as well as many complaints during his 32 years at the school.
    3. After hiding Berndts record, lying about hus dismissal and failing to report his credential to CTC, LAUSD went to great lengths to deflect scrutiny of its operatoons by circulating rumours about femaile teachers pandering to Berndt, and subsequently spent $5 million to place the entire staff in an unfinished HS.
    4. John Deasy deliberately witheld the information about abuse from parents , which endangered these children who were potentially exposed to STD and possibly Hep/AIDs besides the psychic damage the crimes may have caused them.
    5. Deasy and the down town harpiies also creaed chaos on the MES caampus by telling parents Baca planned to deport them. He also interfered with a police investigation which is a felony. He also lied about police protocol and intimidated staff members so thy were afrad to be honest in statments to police.

    Yes, Cortines stepped over the line. Yes, he's an awful little man in his Hermes tie who sold us out to vulture philanthropists and Scholastics $16 million annual income form LAUSD testing .
    He comandeered the school name by way of these things not because he was dedicated to arts. In fact, he was behind the first deep cuts to music, theater and visual arts a few years ago. He also is behind the colassal waste in these Taj Mahal schools that apparently are connected to Eli Broad , bilionaire busy body hellbent on taking over public education for personal profit, a goal that requires dismantling the teaching profession and making schools into test factories.
    Monica Garcia is a shameless heifer who has turned a blind eye to all this as well as Cortines ' Conflict of interest and Deasy's unlawful dismissal of riughly 1000 teachers, most ofnthem innocent. She rubberstamps their lives into ruin andmuses her power to protect a friend's failing charter school. Apparently the other board members are cool with all this.
    In the meantime it's Mr. Deasy goes to Sacramento in between his search and destroy missions which are in direct violation of state laws and he constitution.
    But hey, at least one victim-- a 50 something year old man who is a highly paid school official involved with LAUSD real estate is getting justice. Hooray for him. Now what about the poor children of this community and their mistreated, underpaid and largely unemployed teachers?

  2. Wow, well said.

    Btw, I didn't mean to equate Cortines with Berndt. Rather, I was trying to show how the ineptitude and corruptness of LAUSD is responsible for a large number of abuses and problems in the district