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Gratts Elementary parents voice outrage over teacher's aide lewd acts arrest

May 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gratts Elementary School parents voiced their concerns at a meeting Friday after a teacher's aide at the school was arrested for allegedly committing lewd acts on a child.

The first parent meeting took place at 8:30 a.m., and another meeting was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Crisis counselors were also available on campus.

More than 100 parents attended the first meeting, and many were frustrated over the disturbing allegations brought on the T.A.

Jorge Dominguez, 25, was arrested Thursday over an incident that happened outside of the school. He worked as a part-time teacher's aide at Gratts for six years. After his arrest, he was terminated from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Dominguez has also worked as an after-school program aide at the L.A. Academy of Arts and Enterprise, which is a nearby charter school.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said the victim was not a student at Gratts Elementary School. He did confirm, however, that the victim is an older student within LAUSD. Because the investigation is ongoing, specific details have not been released.

"It's just stressful. A lot of problems that are going on in school, they don't address. And this is something big, but as of now, we don't know what happened," said parent Fabiola Ozaeta.

Deasy called the allegations against Dominguez horrifying and sickening. Parents with children attending Gratts are in shock.

"For a teacher or a T.A. to do that, it's unacceptable," said parent Grethel Maldonado. "You know, we trust them. We give them out support and we give them our trust to take care of our children, and what do we get?"

Dominguez's arrest comes five months after two teachers at Miramonte Elementary in South L.A. were arrested on similar charges.

"There's a lot of child abuse and victims out there, and what we do is, when we find it, we fire people and report to authorities," said Deasy.

Still, some parents say the school district needs to do more.

"I don't know how it got this far. You know, you see it all over L.A. on the news, and it just makes you angry at what's going on," said Laverne Mercer, another parent. "These people should really be scrutinized when they're hired and a lot of good people were terminated and we end up with some bad apples, and I just felt that it was very wrong, because if they would have dug deeper, they might have found some of these problems."

Dominguez is being held in $100,000 bail. Anyone with information about Dominguez, or who may have been a victim, is urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7.

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