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Blindfolding, Making Butter Banned at LAUSD in Wake of Miramonte Scandal

Photo by IAmNatums via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Wasn't it fun to be in elementary school? Remember the four primary lessons: reading writing, 'rithmetic, and being blindfolded?

Oh, you didn't have that last one? Well, apparently it's common enough at LAUSD that it had to be specifically banned -- following the scandal at Miramonte, in which students were blindfolded so that former teacher Mark Berndt could put cockroaches on their faces and feed them his semen in what he called a "tasting game," the LA Times reports that the school district has now officially put an end to the practice.

In case you were wondering, teachers other than Berndt blindfolded students as part of a lesson that allowed them to learn more about the five senses. Working in pairs, one student would have his or her eyes covered and try to discern information about an object using methods other than sight.

OK, so that seems charming and benign, and it's too bad that Berndt ruined things for the rest of the district. But it is heartwarming to know that LAUSD has its finger on the pulse of how the community is feeling. According to the Times:

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In light of that case, blindfolding "may be perceived negatively," wrote Deputy Supt. of Instruction Jaime Aquino in a Feb. 23 memo to principals.

....Yes. Yes, it's probably safe to say that at this juncture, blindfolding students would not be particularly welcome.

It would be uncomfortable enough if we ended this story there, but apparently the five senses lesson isn't the only one that very creepily mimics what Berndt did to students. As part of another classroom activity, kids made homemade butter. It was then served smeared on top of crackers.

That lesson will also be discontinued.

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