As an added bonus to my coverage of the layoff crisis at San Diego Unified this week, here are five videos I shot with my iPhone at Central Elementary School.

I spent three days at San Diego schools this week, trying to understand what impact the school district’s decision to lay off one in five teachers was having. While visiting Central Elementary in City Heights to shoot some portrait photos for my story on the impact of layoffs there, I found a class full of fourth-grade girls writing letters to the school board.

The girls had chosen to spend their recess writing the letters. As teacher Ashley Knox describes in the first video, they took it upon themselves to write the letters. They’d been kept insulated from the mess at the district for weeks until I interviewed one of them for my story.

The videos speak for themselves.

Here’s Knox introducing the girls:

YouTube video

Here’s student Leilani Orduno reading her letter:

And here’s student Leslie Delgado reading her letter:

Here’s Jakelin Garduno:

And, lastly, here’s Rosario Perez:

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at or 619.550.5670.

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Will Carless was formerly the head of investigations at Voice of San Diego.

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