The Los Angeles Unified School District was named in a negligence lawsuit filed this week on behalf of 20 former Miramonte Elementary School students who say they were victims of sexual abuse by a former teacher at the school.
The lawsuit, which names several school board members as well as the current and former principal at Miramonte, claims that the district did not do enough to protect students who had lodged complaints about inappropriate conduct at the school.
Mark Berndt, who in January was charged with 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children, was not named as a defendant in the suit. He has pleaded not guilty. He was fired from the school, located south of downtown Los Angeles, a year earlier.
The charges brought intense scrutiny of the district, which launched an internal investigation to determine how Berndt, a veteran third-grade teacher, could evade suspicion for so long.