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Parents plan protest over sex allegations at L.A. school

February 6, 2012 |  7:01 am


This post has been corrected; please see note at the bottom for details.

Parents at Miramonte Elementary School plan a demonstration Monday over sex abuse allegations against two teachers at the South L.A. campus.

Some parents also said they would keep their children home from school Monday to protest what they say was the slow way school officials informed them of the allegations, KTLA-TV reported.

School officials, meanwhile, said Miramonte Elementary will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as the probe into a bizarre child abuse scandal continues.

FULL COVERAGE: Miramonte sex-abuse investigation

On Saturday, investigators revealed that a girl came forward to claim she was a victim of both teachers who were arrested last week on abuse charges.

The girl and her parents approached school officials in 2008 when, as a student in Mark Berndt's second-grade class, she brought home pictures of her and two other girls standing against a wall. Another photo shows her biting down on a cookie with a light-colored substance on it.

Berndt was arrested last week for alleged lewd conduct with 23 students.

School officials dismissed the girl's allegation regarding Berndt in 2008, according to the family, and she was transferred to Martin Bernard Springer's class. The girl's father says Springer touched her on the leg and thigh during class, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times.

Springer, 49, of Alhambra was arrested Friday amid allegations that he fondled two girls inside his classroom at Miramonte during the last three years, said L.A. County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker. The girls were about 7 years old at the time of the incidents, Parker said.

[For the Record, Feb. 6, at 8:28 a.m.: A previous version of this post mistakenly said the girl who came forward Saturday claimed she was inappropriately touched by Berndt. The girl and her parents said he took inappropriate pictures of her.]


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-- Howard Blume