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Union calls for Deasy to report to 'teacher jail' during iPad inquiry

UTLA tells Deasy to report to 'teacher jail'

Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl on Wednesday called on L.A. Schools chief John Deasy to report to “teacher jail” — district offices that house instructors who are facing allegations of misconduct — while the district’s $1.3-billion iPad program is under investigation.

Deasy halted the program after increased scrutiny over it. An internal report sharply criticized the project, citing major problems with the process and the implementation. And, L.A. Unified emails showed that the superintendent and his top deputy had close ties to Apple, maker of the device, and Pearson, the company that provided curriculum on the devices.

Deasy said that L.A. Unified needed to start over to include "lessons learned" about the project and to benefit from advances in technology.

Critics have raised concerns about whether Deasy and then-Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino had inappropriate dealings with executives from Apple and Pearson. The district’s inspector general has begun a second inquiry into the program.

The superintendent has said that there was nothing improper before or after the bidding process.  

United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union, contends that Deasy should be reassigned to the “teacher jail”  just as their members are when they are under investigation.

“He’s got to play by his own rules and when under investigation, he must report to teacher jail,” Caputo-Pearl said in video of an early morning news conference at the district’s downtown headquarters.

The union has vigorously opposed the way in which the district handles teachers who face allegations of misconduct.

The union contends that teachers are kept in these offices far longer than necessary and that, in some cases, they are unjustly fired even after an allegation is proved untrue. 

Caputo-Pearl said the union is working with the school board to end the practice of keeping teachers in these offices.

“But in the meantime, it is John Deasy’s ethical responsibility to live by his own rules and live by the policy that he champions and report to teacher jail immediately,” Caputo-Pearl said. 

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