Friday witnessed the arrest of Martin B. springer, for his alleged involvement in the sexual assault of two female students. The current allegations leveled against Springer serve as a painful reminder of similar events that unfolded last week regarding the actions of a fellow faculty member. Mark Berndt, a former teacher at the same school that Springer is employed, was charged with taking bondage-style photographs of children under his supervision. While the two cases appear to be unrelated, they have undoubtedly shocked the nation and given families a legitimate reason to fear sending their children to Miramonte Elementary School.
Springer, 49, was arrested just four days after Berndt was charged with 23 individual counts of lewd acts with children. Though not as extensive, Springer’s actions are as equally heinous. According to Mike Parker, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt., Springer was arrested on Friday for allegedly fondling two girls in his class room within the past three years. The victims of Springer’s actions were about seven and eight years of age.
Springer’s arrest came after detectives interviewed him and the alleged victims on the previous Thursday. Subsequently, he was arrested the next day as he left a school district building in South Los Angeles. After allegations against Springer went public, several parents proceeded to take their children out of the school.
Compounding the fears and frustrations that families with children attending Miramonte Elementary School are experiencing, was the arrest of Mark Berndt just four days earlier. At the age of 61, Berndt is a former school teacher who worked at Miramonte Elementary School in South L.A. for approximately three decades. However, a year-long investigation revealed 23 individual counts of sexual abuse with former students. Subsequently, Berndt now faces charges for each count of sexual misconduct that he may have committed with a minor.
Allegations suggest that Berndt would tie up his victims against their will, while simultaneously placing giant cockroaches on their faces and spoon feeding them his own semen. Subsequently, Berndt would tell the victims that they were playing a “tasting game,” in which he used a blue plastic spoon to feed children a white substance that DNA tests later revealed to be his semen. The students were told to tell Berndt whether the substance tasted salty or sweet, authorities said. Incriminating photos, along with DNA samples, have been discovered on school grounds and at Berndt’s home.
Parents of children attending the school remain furious as to how the situation was handled. Law enforcement and school officials were made aware of Berndt’s actions over a year ago. However, neglected to tell the public until his arrest last week. Subsequently, parents are enraged that she school would allow Berndt to continue supervising and teaching children when they knew of the allegations leveled against him. The allegations raised further questions about why he wasn’t disciplined by school officials, who have been lambasted by some parents for waiting a year to reveal that Berndt was suspected of blindfolding children and feeding them his own semen in his classroom in what children were allegedly told was a tasting game.
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