Official: 2nd teacher from L.A. school arrested

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LOS ANGELES — A second teacher pulled from a classroom at Miramonte Elementary School this week was arrested Friday, just days after a third-grade teacher was charged with lewd acts involving photographing nearly two dozen children for sexual thrills, authorities said.

In a related development, a lawyer on Friday filed a claim against the Los Angeles Unified School District stating that he intended to file a lawsuit on behalf of an unidentified girl who ate a sugar cookie laced with the semen of the first teacher arrested, Mark Berndt.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed the second arrest but would not immediately release any further details on the exact allegation.

The second teacher, who has not been identified, was removed after accusations of inappropriate touching of students surfaced on Thursday, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said.

“We are prepared to fire him next week and we’ll do that at the next board meeting for inappropriate conduct and inappropriately touching students,” the superintendent told KTTV.

Deasy said the district has seen an increase in the number of complaints of teacher molestation since news of Berndt’s arrest broke, but he provided no figures.

Child-abuse investigators were informed by the district late Thursday night, sheriff’s Lt. Carlos Marquez said, declining to provide details.

Earlier this week, third-grade teacher Mark Berndt, who worked at the school for 30 years, was charged with committing lewd acts on 23 children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. He remains jailed on $23 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted.

Deasy said the allegations had not been previously reported to the district.

Beverly Hills lawyer Raymond Boucher, whose Beverly Hills firm specializes in sexual abuse lawsuits against school districts, religious institutions and hospitals, said the legal claim of behalf of “Jane Doe 1” charges that the district did not take adequate steps to prevent Berndt from repeatedly abusing children after they received complaints about him.

School was in session Friday at Miramonte. After news broke about the second teacher, several parents took their children out of school.

Ida Santana said her sister called her and told her to pick up her nephew.

“It’s hard to leave our kids here,” Santana said. “We can’t trust the teachers no more. Now there’s another teacher.”

Several other parents could be seen walking youngsters away from the school.

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