To ensure that investigations proceed in a timely manner and that the district disciplines employees promptly, the district should increase its oversight of open allegations of employee abuse against students.
It is Los Angeles Unified School District's (the District's) understanding that recognition of the full adoption and implementation of Recommendation 2 was delayed pending review of information regarding the District's efforts to create a team of investigators pursuant to a resolution ("Protect Children and Safeguard Due Process") adopted by the District's Board of Education on April 16, 2013. Attached as Exhibit A is the District's complete response.
We are pleased to inform you that the District's Human Resources Division has, pursuant to and consistent with directions in the above described resolution, developed the new Student Safety Investigation Unit (SSIU) to investigate allegations of employee sexual misconduct only. The SSIU will be solely responsible for investigating alleged employee sexual misconduct. The SSIU consists of an internal investigation team staffed with a Certificated Administrator, Supervising Investigator, Investigators and Electronic Data Analyst. Outside investigation contractors will be used as needed.
Final selections have been made and the SSIU team of investigators immediately will begin investigations.
As of April 16, 2013, the district's board of education (board) passed a resolution directing the superintendent to create a team of professionally trained investigators to take the lead and investigate reports of allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct, among other things. A plan to create the team of investigators is due back to the board within 90 days of the date of the resolution.
The district has created an Employee Performance Accountability Office (accountability office) and hired three senior human resources representatives to assist the administration with investigations and the drafting of charges. Additionally, investigators have been hired to review and analyze employee files of those employees who were alleged to have committed misconduct. Further, the accountability office has conducted over 20 training sessions in the last five months covering such topics as employee performance, progressive discipline, conference memos and evaluations, and maintaining a safe school.
The district indicates that the Investigations Unit of its Office of Inspector General (OIG) provides, as needed, expert advice and technical assistance related to non-OIG investigations currently being performed by the five Educational Service Centers (ESCs). Recently, the OIG conducted an investigations workshop for the ESC Operations staff as well as the principals in the ESC. The district stated that the additional support should result in reinforcing capacity of the personnel directly responsible for conducting effective investigations.
The recommendation is not fully implemented until the district creates the team of investigators specified in the resolution passed by the district's Board of Education on April 16, 2013 and the team begins investigating allegations.
The district states that as a component of its recent reorganization, its Human Resources Division has augmented support for investigations and any resulting discipline by assigning additional staff relations personnel to the district's new Educational Service Centers, creating a Certificated Performance Evaluation Support Unit, and more strategically utilizing the previously created Investigations Unit. According to the district, these units have collaborated in designing and conducting intensive training on conducting investigations for school site administrators and operations personnel. The district indicates that various units are collaborating in creating guidelines for administrative investigations of allegations of employee misconduct as well as providing appropriate assistance in conducting investigations related to the investigations. (See 2013-406, p. 62)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.