Report: Aide At L.A. School Sent Boy Love Letter - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Report: Aide At L.A. School Sent Boy Love Letter

USATODAY.COM - Authorities are investigating allegations that a teacher's aide sent love letters to an 11-year-old boy attending the Los Angeles-area school where two teachers have been charged with molesting students, according to a report.

The Los Angeles Times said the mother of a fourth-grader came to officials at Miramonte Elementary School in 2009 to report that the 50-year-old woman had written several letters, including one that said the boy gave her chills.

The mother told the Times that she met with school officials and the teacher's aide acknowledged writing the letters.

A school district spokeswoman said the woman no longer works for the school system, the newspaper reported.

School officials on Tuesday offered parents the opportunity to transfer their children out of Miramonte Elementary School, where the entire faculty and staff are being replaced to give the school a fresh start after allegations of sexual abuse and lewd conduct by two teachers.

Mark Berndt and Martin Springer are facing charges that they committed lewd acts on children in their Miramonte classrooms.

Miramonte was closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Teachers were finalizing grades and record keeping and boxing up belongings after the announcement Monday night that all were being removed.

The decision to replace the entire faculty and staff of a public school because of criminal allegations appeared to be unprecedented, not just in the city but nationally.

"I salute the district for taking immediate steps to stabilize the school and restore the learning environment," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

Los Angeles Unified School district spokesman Tom Waldman said the system is trying to hire 128 teachers and other staff from a list of those dismissed in budget cuts in recent years. The goal was to have them ready for classes Thursday.

Parents who want to move their children to another school will get expedited consideration, he said.

One of the two teachers faced court arraignment Tuesday. Springer, 49, was charged with three counts of lewd acts upon a child over a three-month period in 2009. Springer has been in jail since he was arrested Friday. Prosecutors were asking for his bail to be set at $300,000. If convicted, Springer could face a maximum state prison term of 12 years. The school board voted to fire him Tuesday. click here to read the full story

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