Saturday, May 31, 2014


The recent decision by LAUSD's General Counsel David Holmquist to no longer require the housing of teachers at LAUSD offices during school hours, while teachers were under supposed investigation of the charges against them, seems to pose more questions than it answers.

1. If it's okay now to allow these teachers to remain at home, what is different? Why couldn't this have been done years ago, instead of the mass incarceration of teachers who should have been presumed innocent until proven guilty by the District in a neutral forum, where LAUSD- and not the teacher- had the obligation of showing culpable actions on the part of the teacher in a timely manner and not the purposefully protracted process designed to break teachers will and ability to defend their innocence.

2. If Holmquist now feels its okay to allow teachers to be housed at their homes, why has he done a complete about face on this issue, what has changed? Why in the recent past have some teachers been kept incarcerated for over 4 years, while the charges against them were supposedly being investigated, but now its okay to let them be at home during the school work day? In the past, LAUSD justified the incarceration of teachers as motivated by protecting students from these alleged bad/immoral teachers. As a matter of course, LAUSD has hit almost every teacher it goes after with an alleged violation of California Education Code 44939- a morals charge. This is done so that teachers can be ultimately deprived of salary and benefits in a move by LAUSD to make it harder for targeted teachers to resist their firing. So what's different now?

3 Up until this cancellation of "teacher jail" by Holmquist, how come some teachers were incarcerated for as little as two hours, but other teachers spent a full 6 hours required to remain at LAUSD offices doing nothing in complete isolation? Did any of this have to do with the inflammatory nature of images of teachers being shown by the media sitting around a room and getting paid to do absolutely nothing?

4. Is there any good faith belief on the part of any administrator at LAUSD that teachers confined to "rubber rooms" have really done something wrong or has this just been LAUSD's rather successful means of intimidating teachers to force them to resign or retire?

5. Superintendent John Deasy has said on many occasions that if the police find a teacher innocent of charges against them, they are put back to work immediately. This is a ball faced lie that mainstream media refuses to report.

6. Some teachers like Sigi Siegel have actually won their case at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and still remain incarcerated in their homes, while LAUSD lawyers stall her reinstatement by filing endless appeals- there is no shortage of money at LAUSD for doing this irrespective of the merit of any case, since in the aggregate, most teachers roll over and LAUSD saves about $60,000 for every teacher they are able to force into retirement or resignation.

In her case, she even won the first LAUSD appeal of her OAH victory in Superior Court, but LAUSD still keeps her isolated and under tremendous physical and emotional stress by now forcing her to stay at home from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., instead of at an LAUSD office. Is there any legal justification for doing this under a system of law that presumes Ms. Siegel innocent and where the only examination of the facts by neutral legal forums has found her completely innocent of all charges against her. While she continues to be paid, doesn't Ms. Siegel also have a constitutionally protected property right to continue exercising her profession as a teacher without LAUSD a priori depriving her of this right without due process of law?

The simple answer as to why LAUSD General Counsel Holmquist has reversed his position on housing teachers without any justification is that these targeted teachers had finally started to become proactive and were using their time incarcerated together to organize effective legal opposition to the witch hunt against them.

For too long, the mainstream media has given LAUSD a pass, when it comes to using any real journalistic standard for examining LAUSD's war on teachers at the top of the salary scale, about to vest in lifetime health benefits, or disabled, which account for well over 93% of all teachers incarcerated by LAUSD. They have never asked the hard questions.

As far back at December 17, 2012, I did an article about how LAUSD Superintendent John
Deasy lied to Conan Nolan and Patrick Healy of KNBC of KNBC did reports on LAUSD teacher jails, where Superintendent John Deasy outright lies to them. But neither one of these reporters nor any of the others covering education in L.A. - Barbara Jones, Mitchell Landsberg, Howard Blum, Jason Song- have shown any interest in outing these lies. In fairness to them, and given the pro-charter ownership of their newspapers, this would be impossible for them to do, if they wanted to keep their jobs.

There is no love loss between me and newly elected UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl, but if he wants to convince anybody that he is any different than do-nothing Warren Fletcher and his predecessors at UTLA, he needs to stop allowing UTLA to sit quietly by, while doing absolutely nothing to stop its teacher members at the top salary and benefits from being systematically targeted and removed based on obviously fabricated charges by LAUSD.

If you or someone you know has been targeted and are in the process of being dismissed and need legal defense, get in touch:

We Love Do you find the media and their "teachers-suck," "power to principals," "privatization is the best thing that's happened to public schools" disgusting and distasteful? The powers that be may "control" the main media but it's people like us who control the SOCIAL MEDIA. Hungry for more information about crusading educators going against the grain to do what's right for teachers, unions, communities, and children?

"Lenny, overall this is another good article. However, It would be totally unfair to the public education profession if the UTLA took on a posture to distinguish teachers with greater seniority as in need of any more consideration concerning teacher jail than lesser experienced teachers. Forced isolation is a way to break a person's will. Given time, most will succumb to such pressure. The problem is, we have a serious ethical dilemma in the public school profession---a professional ethics dilemma---that has never been brought into an ethics focused resolution forum. This suggestion is not being offered for media pundits to debate in abstract terms. Professional Ethical forums exist on the state and federal levels through such agencies as California Fair Housing and Labor, EEOC, The Office of Civil Rights within DOE, et al. Individuals like you and organizations like UTLA continue to totally overlook such agencies. Part of what causes these government agencies to be "broken" is the unwillingness of citizens to exercise their Civil Rights by filing complaints. The legal forum is as potent as the existing ethical forum. One cannot be offered as a solution to poor administrative practices while the other languishes in contempt. Until existing ethical forums begin to gain more respect among citizens, the legal forum will continue to be a way for legal professionals to make money without any real resolutions to workplace dysfunction. If not now, when?"

Educators, how would you respond to my words? Feedback is welcomed. Please feel free to share this email with others.

Luis South, M.A

Saturday, July 27, 2013


It is a mistake to overlook the fact that America public schools have for decades, been poorly managed. Few publicly funded institutions have been run perfectly, to serve and protect the rights and welfare of its students. The primary problem is how administration is viewed. Private businesses have owners and managers who must run things with an eye on profit. Public Administrators are, ideally, managers of tax-funded systems intended to keep America running smoothly by providing fair practices so all citizens are included. Ideally, public administrators should be highly ethical efficiency experts. What actually makes this ideal problematic is the fact that America’s history began with genocide and then followed up to include slavery.

We have a tendency to accept denial as a way of life. Essentially, the super status given the killer/enslaver has transformed into the unaccountable “boss.” The BS factor, in this context, refers to “bogus standards.” Why many government systems have, a history of failure that remains prominent over decades has a lot to do with the influences of the management model from private sector transferring into the realm of public administration. Specifically, the unaccountable boss is the failure model that has decimated the world economy.

 We now know that systems where there is a head who sets policy without proper internal checks and balances, is a publicly funded system that will fail to deliver quality services to the community. So how does a tax-funded agency, such as a public school site clearly indicate it has moved from the boss mentality that has guided most failures in education, to ensure there is now a more clearly designed management system that rewards leaders for moving to a progressive all-inclusive management? As well, some penalties have to be applied for the school settings that refuse to move towards a genuine all-inclusive management model. Again, the elected lawmakers need to help communities resolve this problem.

Luis South
Los Angeles