School Climate & Safety

L.A. Unified Schools to Pay $88 Million to Settle Teacher Sex-Abuse Lawsuits

By Corey Mitchell — May 18, 2016 1 min read

The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay $88 million to settle teacher sex-abuse lawsuits involving dozens of children at two elementary schools.

The two settlements, $58 million for students at one school and $30 million for students at the other, are among the largest in district history after the Miramonte sex abuse case that brought a $139 million settlement.

The two teachers at the center of the cases are serving long prison terms after pleading no contest to molestation charges.

Thirty-seven plaintiffs at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School settled for $58 million and 10 plaintiffs at Telfair Avenue Elementary School settled for $30 million.

“The resolution of these cases allows us to spare our L.A. Unified families the anguish of multiple protracted trials while being mindful of the financial consequences of these settlements,” Superintendent Michelle King said in a statement.

The schools are among hundreds in the nation’s second-largest school district. The cases were not connected, but the same law firm represented the victims of both and they were settled at the same time.

The lawsuits alleged that the school district didn’t take seriously the initial complaints of teachers’ misbehavior.

“While the settlements will provide for the students’ future needs, we remain committed to fostering healing among them, their families and the entire school community,” David Holmquist, the school district’s general counsel said in a statement.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.