L.A. Unified pays $25 million to settle sexual misconduct cases

Howard Blume:

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday agreed to pay more than $25 million to settle lawsuits over alleged sexual misconduct. Some cases were related to well-known incidents of abuse at Telfair and De La Torre elementary schools, for which teachers went to jail. Others never led to convictions. The larger settlements are about $2 million per student.

Officials with L.A. Unified like to believe they’ve turned the page on the worst employee misconduct following a spate of high-profile cases, and they can cite a long list of new safeguards. But attorneys for the victims questioned the district’s commitment to reform.

“No one has a full account of how many children have been abused, how many cases they’ve settled,” said attorney John Manly, who represented some of the victims. “This board has made every effort to keep it secret. That is troubling. There is a culture at LAUSD that accepts this as a cost of doing business.”

L.A. Unified General Counsel David Holmquist defended the district’s intentions and response.