JUST IN: Judge denies LA Unified request to dismiss lawsuit filed by fired teacher Rafe Esquith
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Wednesday denied LA Unified’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by well-known former fifth-grade teacher Rafe Esquith, who was fired in October. Esquith filed the defamation lawsuit against the district in August after he was placed on paid leave and assigned to “teacher jail” pending an internal investigation after a...
By Sarah Favot | July 13, 2016
JUST IN: LA police say Esquith could face one juvenile crime charge
The Los Angeles police department is moving toward charging celebrated teacher Rafe Esquith with one count of inappropriate touching of a juvenile, LA School Report has learned. The single charge could come within a few weeks after being reviewed by the city attorney and U.S. district attorney’s offices, said LAPD Captain Julian Melendez, head of the...
By Mike Szymanski | December 17, 2015
Cortines: LAUSD responded ‘correctly’ in Esquith dismissal
More salacious charges against celebrated teacher Rafe Esquith were released this week, and for the first time LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines commented publicly about the case. At a forum last night, Cortines said he was surprised about the charges but stood behind the district for taking action, once its investigation was complete. “For me, six...
By Mike Szymanski | December 10, 2015
JUST IN: LAPD confirms ‘ongoing investigation’ of Rafe Esquith
A day after lawyers for Rafe Esquith said they knew of no outside investigation into his past, the Los Angeles Police Department today confirmed that a department probe begun earlier this year was continuing. “There is an ongoing investigation at this time,” said LAPD public information officer Norma Eisenman, an assertion confirmed by Capt. Julian R....
By Mike Szymanski | October 16, 2015
JUST IN: LAUSD slapped with $1 billion lawsuit to end teacher jails
Following up on a months-long threat, high-profile attorney Mark Geragos today slapped LA Unified with a class action lawsuit, calling for an end to the practice of “teacher jails” and asking for more than $1 billion in damages. The suit was filed in state superior court on behalf of Rafe Esquith, a well-known teacher who was dismissed...
By Mike Szymanski | October 15, 2015
Students, teachers, parents at Hobart protest charges against Esquith
About 100 students, teachers and parents picketed Hobart Boulevard Elementary School this morning to protest the removal of celebrated teacher Rafe Esquith by LA Unified while an investigation continues, focused on him and his nonprofit program, the Hobart Shakespeareans. Carrying signs that say “Reinstate Rafe” and chanting “Be Nice, Work Hard,” the students marched around the front...
By Mike Szymanski | August 17, 2015
JUST IN: LAPD investigates Esquith, lawyers ‘declare war’ on LAUSD
LA School Report has confirmed that an LAPD sex crimes unit has an open investigation of celebrated teacher Rafe Esquith involving allegations of “inappropriate touching.” Meanwhile, Esquith’s attorneys are striking back with threats of additional lawsuits and a “declaration of war against LAUSD.” One of Esquith’s attorneys, Ben Meisales, said, “This continued defamation by LAUSD...
By Mike Szymanski | August 14, 2015
JUST IN: LAUSD says Esquith case involves sex photos, ‘touching’
Lawyers for LA Unified today told the attorney representing acclaimed teacher, Rafe Esquith, that the investigation into his background has found evidence of “highly inappropriate conduct involving touching of minors” during his time as a district teacher as well as “inappropriate photographs and videos of a sexual nature” on his school computer. The letter to Esquith’s...
By Mike Szymanski | August 13, 2015
JUST IN: Ian McKellen, Hal Holbrook join video to support Esquith
In response to the “teacher jailing” of a beloved LA Unified teacher, Rafe Esquith, acclaimed actors Ian McKellen and Hal Holbrook joined past and present students in a You Tube video to offer their support for Esquith and to show how money spent from his after-school program, Hobart Shakespeareans, benefitted his students. “It is our response to their request for 15...
By Mike Szymanski | July 29, 2015
A closer look at the Mark Twain quote that led to ‘teacher jail’
Just what was it that landed Rafe Esquith, a nationally-renowned teacher, in LA Unified’s “teacher jail”? A line from Mark Twain, his lawyer said in a letter to the district. Esquith’s lawyer, Ben Meiselas, told the district no parent had complained, nor had a student complained. LAUSD officials, ever more sensitive to classroom issues and protections of students since...
By Mike Szymanski | July 15, 2015