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Sunland schoolteacher investigated for 'inappropriate conduct'

A teacher at Mount Gleason Middle School in Sunland has been removed from the classroom as police investigate allegations of "inappropriate conduct," officials said Friday.

The teacher, who was not identified by the Los Angeles Police Department or the Los Angeles Unified School District, has not been arrested.

Police are looking into accusations that the teacher molested three children, according to KNBC-TV Channel 4. The allegations were made to police Thursday, an LAPD source told The Times.

Los Angeles Unified officials sent students home with a letter about the investigation and said in a  statement that it is working closely with the LAPD. The statement said that the school district was directed by police not to release further details.

"Crisis counselors and psychiatric social workers are available to work with students that might be impacted by the removal of the teacher," the statement said. "The district takes each and every reported act of misconduct seriously. We are committed to aggressively pursuing each case to determine the truth and, if necessary, initiate the appropriate disciplinary measures."

The Mount Gleason investigation is the latest of several reported in the wake of the late January arrest of former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt on 23 counts of lewd conduct. Lawsuits against a former Hamilton High music teacher and the arrest of a Telfair Elementary teacher are among those that also have come to light.

The district’s handling of the Mount Gleason teacher is typical for such cases: Instructors are pulled from their classrooms and kept away from students during an investigation. L.A. Unified typically begins its own internal investigation only after police detectives have finished their work. A teacher can still face discipline or dismissal even if no criminal charges are filed.

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-- Kurt Streeter

 

 
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