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education teacher accused by some parents of sexual misconduct has not been on campus since Monday, May 14, and has been replaced by a substitute teacher.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

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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