Yet another sad story involving the abuse of children in the Los Angeles unified school system. In the past year, we’ve heard several horrific stories about depraved abuse going on for years in this school system, and today we hear about at least twenty more kids who had their innocence shattered. Let’s go back and edit that first line;“sad” is not strong enough.
In this story, though, there is one thing that deserves mention in a good light. According to LAUSD Superintendent Jon Deasy, the principal at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School (where these twenty-plus kids were abused by fourth grade teacher Robert Pimentel) was removed from his position immediately. Deasy later told the media that “he wasn’t satisfied” with how the principal handled the reports.
This is something that we are constantly pushing for; not only for the abusers to be punished, but for those who enable the abuse to be punished as well. Interestingly enough, this story breaks mere days after the release of long-kept-secret Los Angeles Archdiocesan files that show, in chilling detail, how the men who enabled abusers there (namely Cardinal Roger Mahony and Aux. Bishop Thomas Curry) actively obstructed police investigations and let predators to move between parishes and potentially abuse more kids. Those men were just as complicit in child abuse crimes in Los Angeles as the actual abusive priests, but despite their crimes, Mahony and Curry kept their jobs, basically allowing them to enable more abuse.
It’s a good thing that Mr. Deasy chose to immediately remove this principal. It sends the message that must be sent, that those who have the ability to stop abuse and do nothing or the bare minimum deserve to brought to justice as well. It is always encouraging when other institutions choose to not follow the model that Catholic officials have used for years, and instead work to get abusers and their enablers away from kids. We applaud the action taken today by the LAUSD, and we hope to see this trend continue in the future.