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Miramonte Teachers to Deliver First Public Statements Today

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Teachers who were removed from Miramonte Elementary School en masse in February following the arrest of two fellow educators were openly unhappy with the way the crisis was handled, and today, they'll speak out publicly for the first time about their ordeal, reports KPCC.

The speeches are part of an afternoon event that will also include a march, chanting and sign-holding. It's slated for 3:30 p.m. outside Augusta Hawkins High School in South L.A., where the teachers have been working since they were relocated.

In conjunction with the local branch of the teachers' union, United Teachers Los Angeles South Area, teachers drafted and selected the speeches that they will read today together.

Miramonte's staff has been relatively quiet about their unprecedented removal from the school after Mark Berndt and Martin Springer were taken into custody for sexual crimes against very young students. But that removal, Ingrid Villeda, chair of the United Teachers Los Angeles South Area, told KPCC, ultimately rallied teachers to work together:

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"What the district has done is it has activated them," she said. "They have become such a family. They make all these decisions collectively, vote on stuff, they really take each other into consideration."

The LA Times notes that teachers were also upset over what they felt was a lack of assurance that their removal wouldn't turn up on their permanent record as some sort of disciplinary action.