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Private school launches investigation into conduct of former teacher

CrimeMarlboroughLos Angeles Police Department
School contacted police about allegations against former teacher
Teacher accused of 'inappropriate' behavior is no longer at Marlborough School, school says

Officials at the Marlborough School, a private all-girls high school in Hancock Park, said Sunday they contacted the Los Angeles Police Department last week after a former student alleged an inappropriate conduct by a male teacher.

The incident, which the school characterized as an “inappropriate physical relationship,” allegedly took place a decade ago, according to a statement released to The Times.

It is the second such report the 125-year-old school has received about the same teacher, who the school said no longer works at Marlborough.

In the most recent case, which allegedly occurred during the 2011-12 school year, a student reported to Marlborough officials that the teacher sent her a series of suggestive emails, the statement said. The school said it conducted an internal review and took disciplinary action.

A year later, the student graduated and the teacher resigned, the school said.

In a letter sent to parents, alumni and others Sunday, Marlborough officials said that same graduate recently posted a more detailed online account of the teacher’s behavior, which included the allegation that the teacher touched the girl’s knee.

In the girl’s account — published June 30 on the website XO Jane — she said she met with the teacher to interview him for the campus newspaper. During the meeting he told the student her school uniform’s short skirt and tight polo shirt were “too alluring” and charged the teen with teasing him.

The account said the teacher told the student that he gave her an A on a paper only because of her “pretty eyes.”

The student said the encounter caused her to lose sleep. After telling her parents of the incident and emails from the teacher, the student said she demanded action from authorities at Marlborough. According to her account, the teacher was not fired but given counseling.

Those additional details, along with the report from a decade ago, spurred the school to contact LAPD and Child Protective Services, Marlborough officials said. Police officials did not return calls seeking confirmation.

Last Friday, Marlborough's Board of Trustees formed an investigative committee to look into the allegations. The panel is led by attorney Debra Wong Yang, who is also a school trustee and the former United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Yang could not be reached for comment.

The school said Yang’s committee will appoint an investigator.

Christine C. Ewell, president of the Marlborough Board of Trustees, said in a statement, “We are saddened to learn about these allegations and we take them very seriously. Our commitment to the School and our students compels us to conduct an independent investigation and to get a full accounting of what took place.”

Twitter: @julie_cart

Twitter: @DavidZahniser

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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