LAUSD to Pay $30M in Settlements to Victims of Teacher Who Fed Students His Sperm
The Los Angeles Unified School District has settled a whopping 58 legal claims filed in conjunction with the sexual abuse of students at Miramonte Elementary School in South L.A. Among those students are alleged victims of Mark Berndt, a veteran teacher who is accused of numerous abuses, including feeding kids his own semen in what he called a "tasting game."
The settlement is a purported $30 million, though the LAUSD has declined to state a specific figure, notes City News Service. Estimates put each plaintiff receiving $400,000 to $500,000.
Before the money is doled out, however, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge will have to review and approve each settlement.
There still remains numerous lawsuits and legal claims against the LAUSD in conjunction with abuse at Miramonte; there have been about 190 claims filed.
Berndt was arrested in January 2012, accused of shocking abuses, including blindfolding his students, feeding them his sperm in cookies and on spoons, putting cockroaches on their faces, and taking photos of them during the abuse. Additionally, another former Miramonte teacher, Martin Springer, is awaiting trial on three felony counts of lewd acts with a child.
The LAUSD has said they do not wish to prolong the settlement process, ergo their fairly swift decision to enact payouts. LAUSD General Counsel David Holmquist said the district arrived at the settlements "to restore healing in the community and provide for the students." Holmquist said that while the district has a legal fund, about a dozen insurance companies are involved in the settlements.