The entire staff of an elementary school where two teachers were arrested last week for lewd acts involving pupils will be replaced, the Los Angeles school district superintendent said late Monday.
News agencies reported that John Deasy made the announcement, regarding Miramonte Elementary School, during a Monday evening meeting at South Region High School #2.
According to the Associated Press, the school's 88 teachers and 40 support staff, including custodians, were not being fired, but rather replaced pending the outcome of a criminal investigation of the allegations against Mark Berndt, 61, and Martin Bernard Springer, 49.
Berndt was arrested last week on accusations he took bondage photos of himself holding suspected semen-filled spoons to blindfolded children's mouths, authorities said.
He had apparently left the images at a CVS drugstore for processing and a photo technician alerted police.
Springer was arrested for allegedly fondling two young girls in the classroom.
CNN reported that the staff were being removed because school administrators "do not want any more surprises," and that they would undergo special training, to later resume work at another location.
Deasy said Monday that he hoped his decision would restore some confidence in the system, the LA Times reported.
"I cannot have another student tell me he is afraid," Deasy told parents at the packed community meeting.
About 200 parents left outside the meeting due to space restrictions reportedly chanted: "We want justice."
"I can't understand how things like that happened," Bessy Garcia told CNN, adding that two of her children were among one of the teacher's alleged victims.
She said she and her two children now had trouble sleeping and eating, among other lasting effects."Now our life has changed. We feel completely destroyed."
Deasy told reporters after the meeting that: "The primary responsibility, bar none, is safety for our students. Clearly, several instructors have violated the most sacred trust we have."
All the new staff members for the school had been hired and trained, Deasy said. Social workers had also been hired to work with teachers and parents.
Here's a video on the abuse investigation: