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George De La Torre teacher, principal removed after reports of inappropriate touching of students

March 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
More troubles for the Los Angeles Unified School District as new allegations force the district to remove another teacher from the classroom. The teacher has not been fired or arrested. The district has not identified him.

The teacher is accused of inappropriately touching at least one student at George De La Torre Junior Elementary School in Wilmington. The district also named a new acting principal of the school. The school is located at 500 Island Avenue.

LAUSD officials say the allegation was lodged Friday morning and the male teacher was immediately removed from the classroom.

"The teacher is on leave, housed in our local district office," said Michael Romero, LAUSD Local District 8 superintendent.

Details of the case are scarce. LAUSD has not released the teacher's name nor how long he's been in the classroom. Monday morning Superintendent Romero said he installed a new acting principal at the school, though he wouldn't say why.

"As a school district, we are supporting LAPD's active investigation. We are leaving no stone unturned in supporting the investigation of these allegations," said Romero.

"It seems to be all over the place. All over," said Bebee Gutierrez, whose grandchildren attend the school. "It's just sad."

Parents and family members of students here are still coming to grips with the allegation of inappropriate touching. The district says more than 300 turned up Monday morning for a meeting with Romero, some of whom are clearly upset that the investigation into teacher improprieties has now spread to their school.

"These schools have to really get into these teachers and really find out about who they are, and what's going on because it's our kids," said parent Ricardo Hernandez. "When kids get traumatized, it sticks with them."

"It's really sad," said parent Jayna Davis. "I want school to be a safe place for everybody's child."

District officials say they're trying to "over"-communicate with parents. They met with them on Friday, on Saturday and on Monday morning. They handed out fliers to students for them to bring home. But very little information is being released about the case other than the teacher and the principal have been replaced.

The Los Angeles Police Juvenile Division released a statement Monday afternoon that there are currently five reports of alleged child abuse.

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