Teacher sex bill succumbs

June 29, 2012

A plan to streamline and simplify the process for firing teachers guilty of sex, drugs or violence involving children died in an Assembly committee this week, victim of vigorous opposition from the California Teachers Association. (Sacramento Bee)

The measure by Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Education Committee despite support from numerous other education lobby groups.

The CTA argued that the current process works. The organization objected to a key part of the proposed legislation which would have scrubbed a current requirement for assigning a three-person panel to hear dismissal cases. Padilla’s bill would have removed from those panels two teachers, leaving only an administrative law judge to hear a case.

“The current system is fair and credible,” Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, told the Bee. “It takes politics out of the process.”

Padilla introduced the measure after the arrest of a Los Angeles teacher, Mark Berndt, a third-grade teacher arrested in January on 23 counts of lewd conduct.

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I think the law should have started with the grade school. For now that is. Anyone caught doing harm to the little kids ought to be in the hooscow immediately, if found guilty. We can add the other grades later. The little kids have a more difficult time ratting out their teachers than the older kids. Hey, if we can’t take care of our little kids we ought to be shot. All kids count but the teachers union and others that seem to be in control don’t want this change. How soon would there be changes if the kids from the teachers union parents got abused?

I pity the fools in the next life. They will probably come back as snakes, non-poisonious ones for sure.

Or a fly. Lives short time then dies. Okay, I made my point.

God Bless

Why only go after teachers? Why not go after all corrupt state employees? There sure seems to be enough of them, particularly in SLO county. Maybe the people serving in the state assembly noted the hypocrisy in this bill and decided to wisely shoot it down.

OooOh please, ‘one or two problems??’

There have been ‘one or two problems’ right here in river city that have received little more than a slap on the hand. If it were up to me, I would have fired all of the teachers who knew about the incidents and did nothing… teachers are MANDATED reporters after all!

It is a real sad commentary that the teacher’s unions ( and I suspect even the school districts) are really fighting this issue and running over the concerns of parents.

I’m curious to know what these problems are — I only remember hearing of one locally in recent years (San Miguel) and I thought that the adult involved in that either quit or was fired. You are right about dealing with others who failed to report such incidents if they knew about them though. It is a problem in most professions from teachers to cops to doctors and lawyers. If they won’t help “police” their own ranks, they better not expect respect from those of us who must and do obey the laws.

Back in the days of the McMartin PreSchool hysteria, I knew a teacher in South County who had his reputation permanently tarnished by false accusations by 3 middle school students. The subsequently retracted their accusations but he left the profession and the area rather than risk that happening again.

This, to me, is reason to exercise caution in making judgments too quickly about such matters. Reports of teacher misbehavior with students should certainly be investigated quickly, thoroughly and objectively. But in today’s world of instant news and reaction, sometimes the news is not accurate and the reaction wrong. That would be the legitimate argument for adding a layer of protection for the accused.

Is this a real problem that has to be addressed or is this another case where one or two problems statewide is leading to a generalized over-reaction. I honestly don’t know. Does anyone know the history and motivation behind this legislation?

While we have big problems in our education system and SOME of them can be attributed to the teacher’s unions, they do have a role in protecting teachers from unjust actions. This is particularly true when hot button topics are involved and everyone rushes to judgement based on inflammatory and often one-sided reporting.