02/03/2012 01:54 pm ET

Mark Berndt's Former Students Come Forward: Defenders & Accusers (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

More students are coming forward with stories about former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt, and at least one is choosing to stand up for him.

Angelica Zuniga, now a 16-year-old high schooler, is one of those students. She had Berndt as a teacher in 2003 for the third grade and told the Associated Press, "They're calling him 'monster.' He's just not that kind of person."

Zuniga continued to defend her former teacher, saying "He was one of the most amazing teachers out there. He's dedicated his life to us, and I want to stick up for him."

Scroll down to see pictures of Zuniga with Berndt.

Tragically, some of the Miramonte families that are speaking out after Berndt's arrest on Monday suspect that their children may also be potential victims. On Thursday, school parent Obdulia Bueno came forward with a potential piece of evidence: a photograph that Berndt had taken and sent home with her son. Her third-grade child is depicted eating a cookie with a white liquid on it, and Bueno told CBS2 that she thinks it could be Berndt's bodily fluid.


Meanwhile, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy confirmed that there has been an increase in the number of parents and children with complaints about teacher molestation across the district. In an abundance of caution, Deasy has opted for the immediate removal of a second teacher at the same Miramonte Elementary school, as well as the firing of a music teacher at Hamilton High School. Vance Miller was removed from the classroom in 2010 after former students claimed that he had sexual relationships with them, reports the Los Angeles Times.


Mark Berndt's Alleged Lewd Acts Rock Miramonte School