LAUSD Knew of Misconduct by Miramonte Teacher As Early As 1983, Records Show

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filephoto Mark Berndt Court Miramonte Teacher

In a file photo, former L.A. Unified teacher Mark Berndt is seen in court.

The Los Angeles Unified School District had received complaints of inappropriate behavior by a Miramonte Elementary School teacher nearly three decades before he was arrested for lewd acts against children, according to court documents.

The documents show that district officials knew about allegations against teacher Mark Berndt in May 1983 — about a decade earlier than had been previously disclosed to the public. Berndt, 63, pleaded no contest last year to lewd conduct and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Berndt taught at Miramonte from 1979 to 2011, when investigators began to look into his conduct based on photos turned into police. He was later accused of spoon-feeding his semen to blindfolded students as part of what he called a “tasting game.”

According to the documents, which were filed as part of a civil lawsuit on behalf of Berndt’s victims, the teacher had been accused of dropping his pants during a 1983 school trip to a museum and park. Miramonte’s principal at the time wrote a memo regarding the incident, which appeared to have been reported by a parent. It was not clear from the memo what was done after the report.

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