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Los Angeles school district bans blindfolds, butter in lessons after teacher sex scandal
LOS ANGELES (AP) ' The Los Angeles Unified School District has barred lessons involving blindfolds and classroom-made butter in the wake of a recent teacher sex scandal at an elementary school.
The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/AgoEYx ) reported Friday that the district sent a Feb. 23 memo to principals saying blindfolding might be negatively perceived because of the case involving Mark Berndt, who has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of lewd conduct for allegedly photographing students who were blindfolded as they ate cookies smeared with his semen.
The blindfolding is part of a fourth-grade reading program designed to teach students sensory details. In pairs, one student is blindfolded and handed an object. The blindfolded child has to answer questions about the object from the partner.
In his memo, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Jaime Aquino suggested that students could explore objects placed in an opaque bag instead.
Butter-making has also been banned at one school because students ate the finished product on crackers. A parent complained about the lesson at a North Hollywood school, causing the principal to cancel it.
Substitute teacher Prentiss Moore said the butter-making lesson is aimed at teaching elements of science, social studies, language arts and art. He said he's done the popular lesson about 500 times over the years.
"The issue to me is how the good teachers are besmirched by the actions of a few," he told the Times.
Information from the Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com