Teacher Accused of Sexual Misconduct Stops Coming to Eagle Rock High

Roman Cisneros, a students dean turned PE teacher, hasn’t come to school since May 14.

An physical education teacher accused by some parents of sexual misconduct has not been on campus since Monday, May 14, and has been replaced by a substitute teacher.

The PE teacher, Roman Cisneros, has been moved to the so-called "rubber room," a reassignment center at LAUSD headquarters downtown, according to an ERHS staff member who spoke to Patch on condition of anonymity. Cisneros is scheduled to retire in July, according to ERHS Principal Salvador Velasco, and has not been charged with any crime.

The ERHS staff member’s account of the PE teacher’s absence from campus confirmed a tip e-mailed to Patch Thursday evening by someone who claimed to be an LAUSD substitute teacher.

Patch called LAUSD District 4 Director Annick Draghi for official confirmation but was told that she had “no comments at this time” and that she would get back to Patch shortly.

At about 2 p.m. on Friday, Patch received a phone call from an official at the LAUSD Office of Communications, Gayle Collard Terry, who said that Draghi had referred the query to her.

“All I can tell you is that personnel matters are confidential,” Terry said. Calls to ERHS Principal Salvador Velasco went unanswered.

On May 9, Draghi was part of an LAUSD-moderated forum at which several parents complained that Cisneros, a former dean of students, allegedly indulged in inappropriate behavior with ERHS students, including asking them to call him “papi chulo,” a Spanish term with sexual connotations that roughly translates as "hot daddy." Cisneros has played small roles in several Hollywood films, most famously in the 1983 gangster movie Scarface, starring Al Pacino.

Velasco told parents at the May 9 meeting that he had not received a single complaint about Cisneros from any parent or student—officially or informally, and that if he receives any complaints, it will be his top priority to investigate them. Cisneros was not present at the meeting, and nothing said at the meeting suggested that LAUSD has investigated or sanctioned him in any way.

The LAUSD-moderated forum had been called in the wake of an ERHS coach’s dismissal in February following a series of conflicts that he had with Cisneros over the use of the school’s weight room. Click here to read the coach's account of those conflicts. Patch has been unable to obtain Cisnero's version of the conflict. Principal Velasco replied to Patch's request for an interview with Cisneros last week by saying that the PE teacher is not talking to the media.

The coach, Steven Jovanelly, was briefly detained by school police for trespassing after he visited the campus to distribute copies of a letter, drawing attention to what he believed was his unfair dismissal. Jovanelly's dismissal sparked protests by scores of students on May 8 and May 9.

Click here to see our first video recording from the May 9 meeting in which parents complained about Cisneros.

Click here to watch a video recording of the same forum at which Principal Velasco was quizzed about his alleged failure to deal adequately with the allegations against Cisneros.

Jimmy hawks May 20, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I hated that guy he failed me even though I always changed for p.e. wtf?! And yes, I do believe he's a wierdo because you can tell by the way he acted with the ladies. Ask any of the p.e guys, they'll tell you. Anyways, thank god he's gone, he was te worst p.e teacher I ever had. Oh, and he doesn't know crap about fitness.
levi copper May 20, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Unfortunate for us, Cisneros gets to hang out in the so-called "rubber room" at the district office watching T.V, reading, having coffee basically doing nothing and getting full pay thanks to us tax payers. Come July he retires to Thailand where many single older American men fly off too, for what I could only guess. So if he is guilty of anything, he will get away with it because no one ever a filed a police report so forever it will be only hearsay. But becareful if someone does file, make sure you have facts, cause I hate for him to sue and now us tax payers will have to pay for that.
ERHS Moms May 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Tim: We ent back and re-read the posts you are referring to and found this to be erroneous in what Aetosians said. A few students didn't walk out, a lot did. Kids would be on a bus to franklin if they did what Coach did? What walk onto campus when no legal restraining order existed? Nasty talk about the school? It would only be nasty if it were not true. Who was trying to get students to do something that'd hurt the school? We are lying to keep hatefulness going? No we are telling the truth that happened to us and our kids. Coach said Velasco was telling the truth? About what? Going to campus on May 2nd? That's the only truth to be found. Trying to disrupt the last few weeks of school? As though we wanted this to happen! She accuses us of speaking for all parents, but she refers to ALL students which isn't possible. Insulting the principal ? No just remarking that he is derelict in the performance of his duties. Only one teacher has been "insulted" and his actions warrant that. We're to blame for creating the situation that got one custodian hurt? We didn't send the text to start a walk out. It's nobody's school but the students school? Many kids have been verbally/sexually harassed by that one teacher & it's their school, too. Coach disobeyed the principal? How? No legal restraining order exists b/c nothing occurred in which to warrant one. Americans don't have to obey persons who abuse their power. She told us not to malign her school more than once and she was answered...
James P. May 20, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Please keep it up. Bullying teenagers shows just how rational you are. Aetosian has as much right to their opinion as you do to yours, actually more since they aren't repeating unfounded rumor and cyber-bulling. I find it interesting that others have started posting that Cisneros did a good job as dean at ERHS and that the accusations made about his tenure at Lincoln can't be true since the posters had entirely the wrong decade.
ERHS Moms May 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
...that we weren't maligning it, but trying to protect it from those who sought its harm. Coach's mom called the Patch? Why? To defame the character of her own son? 3 times it is said that the adults are trying to ruin it for the students. What parents would want this to happen at their kids' school? She says Coach called him a MF and went after him? He was over 100 ft. away as verified by the LAPD who did not arrest him b/c he didn't do anything wrong. Coach started this? How? By assaulting himself? No that was Cisneros. Her comments began with "Coach was trying to wreck the prize and ruin it for the students" which just doesn't make any sense since he had nothing to do with the prom or prize money. AG called her opinions ignorant, which I assume implies that the facts are not being read/heard/comprehended. Tim there are dissenters sent by the admin to try & muddy the waters. They are people who attended the meeting yet did not hear what was said. They are posters who keep repeating the same thing after their questions have been answered. Some of them are posted when kids are usually in school. One is entitled to one's opinion, but opinions do not change facts that have been documented and witnessed. So many times it's been said that NOBODY filed a complaint. Since those complaints are confidential how can someone say that? B?c they want it to be true? The filers know they filed. As much as anyone wished this did not happen it still did happen. Who began this with the Patch?
ERHS Moms May 20, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Also, the ER staff don't necessarily have to know about abuse to be glad he's gone. They voted him out as dean so he mustn't have been an effective dean. Several teachers had issue with him over the weight room. Just curious: Why do some people think that no police report was filed? They took his computer away, didn't they? Child abuse reports are confidential. It also depends who it was reported to. It has been said that Velasco wouldn't act on the reports made to him. That makes him negligent. We are just so glad that our kids don't have to feel uncomfortable anymore!
Yazira Cintron May 20, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Janet, I do have kids a little girl at that fact! I'm intitled to my opinion and u are intitled to yours. Get upset all you want! If hes guilty as all you say he is then let God judge him and punish him for his mistakes.
Janet May 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Yazira...really..let's be honest...if it was ur daughter u would just..." give it to God and let God deal with it"????? Really??? I doubt it....and if so I hope ur charged with neglect!!!! But...it is ur opinion and I can THANK GOD FOR THAT...I can agree with u on one thing...it is the bullshit part....but it is HIS bullshit that he has to be accountable for 20 years ago or 2 months ago..there is no STATUE OF LIMITATIONS ON THIS...
ERHS Dad May 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Yasira, I respect everbody's opinion, but whether or not Cisneros was a great dean back in the 90's is irrelevant lets remember the Penn State scandal. These men that produced a great team for many years and many of the students and parents loved these men, but truth of the matter is they did something very wrong and needed to be held accountable for the harm that Sandusky brought upon these kids. I doubt that you as a mother would allow somebody to bring harm to your daughter and not want them to be prosocuted properly instead of just "well God will judge him one day", and as for why these kids waiting so long for them to say something is such an ignorant thing to say. It is the hardest thing for kids to just come out and say publicly that they were abused or harrassed by Cisneros. It's scary for them because kids will always wonder if it's something they did to cause this person to act they way they did. As for Cisneros I can't judge him myself, but if there is truth to the allegations then I hope he is dealt with in a proper court setting and prosocuted.
classOF2005 May 24, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Its about time someone came forward!!!!
Aniketosian May 24, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Cisneros is a creepy man. I had him as a PE teacher and I never felt comfortable in his class. How many years have these rumors been floating around? As a former student at Erhs I have personally known classmates who have had very uncomfortable experiences with Cisneros. No one person wants to come forward in any situation, especially as a teenager! It's about time people are speaking up. He's a weird and creepy human being who wears his shades inside and outside. Velasco is someone who needs to set his stories straight and learn how to handle every situation at the school he runs or else he is not fit to be the principal of ANY school. When my younger brother, who was in special Ed, was bullied at Erhs, he suffered an injury to his head which required stitches due to the fact that he was pushed into a ramp near the bungalows. His injury went straight to his skull and velasco didn't even authorize an ambulance to be called, instead an aid (not even the school nurse) poured alcohol directly onto his open wound and waited about an hour to call my mother. Velasco obviously has no control or knowledge of what to do in a time of emergency or conflict. Both men are destroying the sports program and forgetting what the school should focus on.. THE STUDENTS. Not their personal issues.
Morris Morr May 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Mr. Cisneros finally got caught!! FACT: This guy hates on high school boys who hang out with high school girls he has crushes on. I graduated 02 and when he came in to Eagle Rock as a dean a couple years before, I herd nothing but negative comments about this man from people, especially girls. Then i experienced his harassment myself. You shouldn't flirt with high school girls, especially if your apart of the staff. I mean this man has tattoos on his face!!! How did he get a job with LAUSD??
Morris Morr May 25, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Very true
Morris Morr May 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Very well said!!!
maggie lombardo May 25, 2012 at 03:45 AM
James - where do you see cyber bullying? I find one instance of redress to Aestonian. Is there more? Where is it? Of course everyone has the right to their own opinion, but facts aren't subject to opinions. For example - the earth is round or so and so reported ... Those kinds of things aren't subjective since they either did or didn't happen or are or aren't true. Here's what I came up with as the definition - Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person. It is also a behavior used in order to gain power over another. It's different from say having an argument, or telling somebody off. Here's the definition of opinion- Belief or judgement that rests on grounds insufficient to produce a complete certainty. Who is repeating unfounded rumors? At the PTSA meeting parents were telling what actually happened to their own kids or themselves, not what they had heard happened, etc. What kind of a dean Cisneros was has nothing to do with the instances of abuse/harassment that were reported. At the PTSA meeting Mr. Velasco said that ERHS faculty did vote him out as dean. No one seemed to dispute that. Also here's the definition of opinion- Belief or judgement that rests on ground insufficient to produce a complete certainty.
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 06:06 PM
No, he is in a rubber room where he belongs until the district " investigates" which means delays the matter unril it goes away or connvices poppa churro to reire early, which he'd be wise to do.
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Keep a record of all communication you have with the school and district. The paper trail is everything to LAUSD. Did they put the othe coach back to work? I hope so. Now you got a great chance of unloading the principal too. Congratulatgions.
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Levi, the rubber room is not like that. The rubber room is an office with district suits. There shouldnt be a tv. Most teachers assigned are treated like criminals. They must stay seated and are not permitted to the internet, watch movies or listen to music. The suits refer to them as criminals and spy on them as many are innocent victims of reprisals from administrators like Principal V. And they need to fabricate reasons to dismiss these teachers. Thats why teachers sit there awaiting due process for years. I am that sort of teacher and my students tried to protest my removal after I reported a notoriously abusive teacher who refused to excuse a student in labor fron final to go to ER. She tells kids, "I own you, " on the firdt day of clas and proceeds to do things that are unethical & abusive because theyre seniors who want to graduate. And at my school these are becoming rare thanks in part yo despicable teachers like this and adminastrators like these, but mostly thanks to LAUSD which is responsible for allowing it to go on and punishing the teachers, students and now even parents who try to intervene. Tim Tritch I agree with you that teachers need to tell but until parents get behind them they end up rubber rooms, where the worse thing is having to interact with the poppa churros there. Theyre indulged tgere, allowed to bully innocent teachers while district offers them extra money to go away quietly.the innnocent are defamed & mistreatted. You see a pattern here?
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 06:55 PM
ERHS, please lasy, you got to do something with your gifts. You are qite brilliant and eloquent. I think if you became a advocate , your leadership would take the public right to where it needs to be. In the belly of the beast that is public education is this Aestinores person She is one of the. We call them EducRAT$ , they are white chalk criminals who are unnessacary overpaid parasites sucking the resources out of our schools . The problem is the system supports these parasites which insolate themselves within it. Sadly, people are corrupt and huge sums of Federal funding facillitates their ongoing assaut on thepublic its supposed to serve. It's costing us much more than money . You all have no idea what the kids in hoods are against the horrors.. I get close to tears when I consider what is done to my students . These people do not care. They care about their 6 figure jobs and covering thier behinds because there a litany overdue indictments for the things LAUSD has done. And its not just LA. Its NYC and Bumpluckedd Oklahoma too. If we can bring LAUSD into the light, we can help the whole country. With the threat of vulture philanthropy upon us, our schools are doomed. In my mind, sharper than ever thanks to my time in the rubber room, when public education turns schools into test factories, killing academic freedom, murdering civil rights, Democracy's wake is imminent. Radaxis7@aol.com
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Tim is probably one of the diseenters and doesn't even know it, mom.
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 07:12 PM
One thing that makes dealing with these situations so frustrating is that good people assume district thugs are telling the truth. They are obsessively groomed, well-spoken and dressed in expensove suits. It is their uniform. And thats because it gives them authority, credibility. Correction: tge appearence of those qualities, which is why people assume they are upright, official and beyond reproach. Real people are rumpled, unfocued at times, overwhelmed. We cuss. Not all but most officials and administrators are con men and harpy grifters. the principals often operate in a mode of " divide and conquer" deliberately undermining a school's culture. Your school is blessed by a strong community. ERHS mom is a civic minded leader and you can stop this. You have to support teachers, not just at your school but throughout the city. To do this, you have to get rid of bad administrators and bad teachers like poopa churro . Moreover you have to elect a better school board and usurp school leaders that act in bad faith. One other thing... No more hilanthropists. Keep Eli Broad out of iur school business. Www.thebroadreport.com Www.perdailly.com Www.hemlockontherocks.com
Rene Diedrich May 27, 2012 at 07:21 PM
When did this happen to your brother? Please contact the special education department at (916) 327-3704 to file a report. This cannot ge taken lightly. If you have questions write to speceducation@cde.ca.gov Or call (800) 926-0647 We cannot let these children to become more vulnerable . I reported this sort of thing to the district and it was tge wrong thing to do. Go straight to the state with issues of special ed. Noncompliance. It is very important to alert the state of all potential charges concerning the safety of students, especially special ed.
Juan Covarrubias May 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
3 of my sons are better because of him thats it
RC<3 May 29, 2012 at 09:34 PM
maleka June 01, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I attended Lincoln High from 95-99 and for those 4 yrs he was the dean....I remember him always walking around with these high school girls that were almost half naked and he was always hugging and messing around with them. He was only nice to certain people because I had a bad experience once when I was wearing a blouse that barely showing any belly and he had the nerve to call me a hoodrat. But he called me out in front of a lot of students walking by. He made me feel so low, we did set up a meeting with the principal over this situation which it had to involve the creep, my self and my mother. When we showed up He wasn't even around to meet up with us he said he had other things to attend to. That's how much he cared about what was happening. So to everyone that is defending this man, He must of not done anything to you but for other people like myself, we are part of his victim list in which you would never know how it feels. Now ALL of my cousin and siblings went to the same school when he was there and it never failed that they had trouble with that man. he would come at you with and attitude or start talking smack for no reason. i figure if he didn't like you he would find a way to get rid of you...especially having the power of a dean. I just think that since he was allowed to get away with it since way back when....I hope this time someone puts a stop to this man
Kevin June 02, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Never in my years of high school at ERHS have i seen any female call him "papi chulo" or anything of that sort. Yes he talked to the girls that were always half dressed but that was because they were the ones constantly sent to his office for being a "gangster" or "cholo". I had issues with him at first but then as i got to know him, he turned out to be a very respectable man, that was looked down upon because he had favorites and was strict in his punishment while dean at ERHS.
ERHS Dad June 02, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Kevin, Did you read what you posted and how ignorant you sound???? A person in that kind of position such as deans, teachers, etc. should NOT have favorites!!!! Really??? Do you find that to be acceptable? Did you follow him around at ERHS all day? Were you his assistant? Stop being blind to what are the facts. out of all the comments on this news clipping the majority of them are not in his favor. So with that I say if it looks like a DOG, barks like a DOG, then more than likely it's a DOG!!!! HE IS A DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what he is going to be forced to early retirement and collect tax payers money for his pension while all his years at LAUSD instead of protecting students he bullied them? Well early retirement or not I think they still need to investigate these allegations and if true then you do the crime you do the time!!!!
ERHS Moms June 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM
An equally troubling issue is all of the administrators who protected Cisneros throughout these years of accusations! Why did they do this? Stupidity, negligence, etc.? It has been a gross dereliction of duty at ER and at other schools. The entire system needs change so we no longer have these types of administrators in charge at LAUSD. They need to have all been teachers in excellent standing first and for an adequate amount of time before becoming administrators. Then through a course of tests, both oral and written, should they rise to superior positions like any other civil service job. Having the School Board basically pick from unqualified individuals has not served this city's students well at all! Look at the gross mismanagement of funds, etc. through the course of time, yet nothing ever happens to them. They lie, cheat, steal, give kick-backs to their friends and their companies, refuse to submit to independent audit, squander the state's money or refuse to use it as it was intended, etc. and still remain in charge. Why do the tax payers put up with this? Our present superintendent lied on his job application, too. He said he had a PhD and only has 9 units. He said he taught at Loyola and they've never heard of him, yet stupid LAUSD still hired him. It seems they will never learn or that they stand to gain, somehow, by refusing to clean up their act. Taxpayers should make sure that we never again take an unqualified graduate from the Broad academy!
Rene Diedrich June 03, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Actually , safety is a an excuse used tonpit teachers in there however it is indeed students safety or the safety of staffn, which makes littke sense because the rubber room is full of more vulnerable employees and usually ver close to schools.
Rene Diedrich June 03, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I couldn't agree more mom. It is ipalso possible Ciseneros Hollywood ties gave him a ceratintbstature at the district. The administrators may bphave known better than to mess with him. As a rule the district tereays sex offenders and abusers exceptionally well becuase these people present a genuine threat to them in terms of provokinglaw suits. The strategy is to promote them, reward them and do nothing about complaints. This way people assume the complaints are false. Whynin the worls would one make an AP a principal after he was geived 190 times in two years or got arrested for waving angun at atudent's father when confronted about his inappropriate relationship with ihus daughter? ( see Steve Rooney)


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