LA parents protest teachers' alleged abuse

Feb. 6, 2012 at 6:24 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Parents and others Monday picketed a Los Angeles elementary school where two teachers are accused of lewd acts with their young students.

The protesters unfurled a large banner outside Miramonte Elementary School before the day's classes started that declared, "We the parents demand that our children be protected from lewd acts," KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

"I want the principal out here to give us an explanation, an answer," one unidentified parent told the TV station. "I think they should shut down the school to start with. Shut it down, temporarily, until they find a way to let us know that our children are protected."

City schools Superintendent John Deasy, who was to meet with parents Monday night, has said he is "sickened and appalled" by the allegations against the teachers.

Miramonte Elementary was to be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as the investigation into the child abuse scandal moves forward, KTLA-TV said.

Investigators arrested Martin Bernard Springer, 49, of Alhambra, Friday following allegations he fondled two girls in his classroom in the past three years, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said.

Springer's arrest followed the Jan. 30 arrest of Mark Berndt, 61, who is accused of taking bondage-type photos and other lewd acts involving 23 children between 2008 and 2010.

While the two cases are not directly tied, investigators said Saturday one student was inappropriately touched by both teachers.

Both men remained jailed in lieu of bond.

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