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Judge orders L.A. Unified teacher to be fired

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered this morning that a city school district teacher who was removed from the classroom and has been paid to do nothing for more than seven years be dismissed within two weeks.

Matthew Kim, a former special education teacher at Grant High School, was accused of touching co-workers' breasts and making improper advances and comments toward students. He was fired by the L.A. Unified School Board of Education in 2003, but a state commission that has final say on teacher dismissals overturned the firing.

The district then appealed that decision and has been fighting to terminate him ever since. In the meantime, the district has continued to pay Kim, who was born with severe cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. Because of the district's longstanding interpretation of the teachers contract,  Kim has not been given any duties while he has been outside the classroom.

A Times story in May 2009 found that Kim was one of about 160 district employees who have been "housed" while accusations against them are investigated or their terminations are contested.

Judge David P. Yaffe said the Times exposed the issue and it has become "an embarrassment."

Yaffe ordered the Commission on Professional Competence to allow the district to fire Kim by Jan. 26. If he is later reinstated, the district will give Kim back pay with interest.

Kim has denied any improper behavior and his attorney said he may file a petition to the court of appeal.

L.A. Unified has spent more than $2 million in legal fees and salary on the Kim case.

-- Jason Song

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Comments () | Archives (86)

What moron says how can someone with severe cerebral palsy grope a woman? With that in mind how can someone like him TEACH? Imagine how many times he groped women and he played it off like it was his cerebral palsy that made him do it.

rmh says "good riddance then! Who needs Northern California anyway? If it wasn't for Southern California, Cali would be a random state nobody cares about like Vermont"..... All So cal needs is Nor cals water! Keep your fantastic teachers and your low crime rate and we'll keep our water.

In light of California's precarious finances, the gist of this story goes a long way toward explaining why that might be.

I find it sad that our children are the victims of crappy teachers, power hungry unions and pathetic politicians. At one time I was opposed to a school voucher system, but once I visited schools in the urban core, my heart broke for families who were prisoners in their own neighborhoods. I believe that redemption is possible, but first we must be able to rid our system of incompetent teachers, self absorbed union leadership and corrupt brain dead politicians.

It's time to allow children and families to vote with their feet. The sooner we can dismantle the LAUSD, dethrone the unions and kick out the politicians and let people have choices in their childs education will be the day that true reform can come to our educational system.

@ the ignorant "Leftcoastgal":

Newsflash#1: Um, we're too busy making life happen to bash other places - unlike some nocal'ers, who seem to have too much time on their hands.

Newsflash#2: Run yourself a Google search, and you'll discover this is a nationwide problem, including your own precious back yard. It's a political issue between balancing union powers and maintaining educational (and legal) standards.


The taxpayers are not receiving the work
for the funds some of these employees took...
we want our money back...
no more funds to districts who hide employees
not working ...
this is a fraud onto taxpayers...
balance the state budget with fees on some of
these public employees ...it will help quickly.

As long as these people are in a union, they can't do no wrong. These people will always keep their jobs. It is sad how much power unions have in California. That's why California is broke.

Why was he not charged with assault and appropriately dealt with in the justice system? If he was found guilty then fired, if found innocent then hired. I don't understand how sexual assault could be permitted to languish unanswered in the courts.

Come on everyone. Let's sing this altogether! "Look for the union label."

I have to defend Matt. I know him from college. I was his attendant.

As for the comments, I know teenagers say **** about their teachers. And they might have convinced themselves that he said what he didn't really say, because he is difficult to understand.

But I know this guy, and this is not in his character. You may question me on this.

As far as touching somebody inappropriately on purpose, that I know, and doctors should be able to corroborate, is completely false. If anyone is at fault, it must be his incompetent lawyers. Saying he has some control over his left arm is completely false. He has about 99% lack of control in his left arm, and he might be able to swing it out of his own volition if he concentrates. He can't open and close either hand on his own, and when his arm swings from purely involuntary nerve and neuron firings, he cannot stop it. His arms have to be strapped behind his back, and they swing loose as the days go by.

He probably asked the aide to come near so that she could properly hear what he was trying to tell the class. Kids were mean to him as a high school student, I think he might have gone to Grant ---he went to a high school in the Valley--- and they kept it up.

Please stop the CTA. CTA is the largest union in CA.
STOP THEM! They are endangering the future of our kids and society!!!

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