Crenshaw alum: Teacher suspension shed light on LAUSD teacher jail

Iris Stevenson arrives at Crenshaw High after being released from "teacher jail." | Amanda Scurlock

Iris Stevenson arrives at Crenshaw High after being released from “teacher jail.” Scroll below for video of Stevenson’s return. | Amanda Scurlock

At Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles, the 2014-2015 school year almost began without one of the campus’s most beloved teachers. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced in August that music instructor Iris Stevenson had been restored to her post. However, questions about her several-month-long absence remain. The case has shed light on “teacher jail,” the unofficial nickname for a sort of institutional purgatory for district teachers, which until recently meted out a virtually secret form of punishment.

The LAUSD removed Stevenson from her classroom in December 2013, shortly after she returned from a performing trip with the Crenshaw Elite Choir to Washington, D.C. and Paris. Of the 20 participants, only three were enrolled Crenshaw students. The rest of the group consisted of alumni, chaperones and musicians from around Los Angeles. Upon their return, district authorities reassigned Stevenson, and did not explain why to students and families. She had worked at Crenshaw since 1985.

“Her case, which is a confidential, personnel matter, remains under investigation,” the district said in a statement last month. [Read more…]

South LA krump dancer, LAUSD teacher jail + Watts Girl Scouts

Krump dancer Krucial from the documentary "Stand" |

Krump dancer Krucial from the documentary “Stand” |

USC News: A South LA krump dancer (and USC student) has her story told in a documentary called “Stand.”

The Nation: Crenshaw High choir teacher Iris Stevenson doesn’t belong in the “gulag of administrative detention known as ‘teacher jail.’

LA Times: Two years ago the LAPD, city housing authority and Grape Street Elementary School teamed up to create a Watts Girl Scout troop, which now counts close to 80 cookie-selling members.

RH Reality Check: A woman from South L.A. remembers her family feeling “shamed” for receiving welfare aid, and advocates for repealing the Maximum Family Grant.

USC News: Nelson Mandela appeared at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1990; now a commemorative plaque at the Court of Honor bears his name.

KPCC: Michelle Obama’s “Turnaround Arts” program will be offered at 10 of California’s lowest-performing schools, including Warren Lane Elementary in Inglewood and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Compton.