After Shelly Monroe’s children suffered a series racial harassment incidents at school, she asked the administration of Cajon Park Elementary if they had any training courses or seminars to address bullying in their schools. She was told the school would fix the problem. The fix came, but in a very different form. “The Santee School District offered to pay [Monroe] to drive her children to another school district,” reports Rachel Evans.

Monroe, who has four children, shared the proposed settlement agreement with Voice of San Diego. Though it doesn’t include a dollar figure, it does offer compensation, based on mileage, for Monroe to drive her children to San Diego for school if she drops her complaints.

Monroe hasn’t signed yet. “She says it doesn’t feel like justice,” Monroe said.

The Learning Curve: Could a Scheduling Trick Help English-Learners?

Do you want English-learning students to succeed and ultimately graduate? Try using a four-by-four. That’s a type of schedule some high schools are using that allows students to take only four classes per semester and spend 90 minutes on each class, instead of 55 minutes in six classes. Mario Koran and Rachel Evans report that many educators and students credit the schedule with a helping English-learners adjust to a new language while absorbing lessons. And educators think it helps all kinds of students, not just ones who are struggling: “Not only does it give them a chance to catch up on college-going credits, but longer class periods offer teachers more time to take concepts deeper,” Evans and Koran write.

Like all good things, the system is not without a catch: “In a four-by-four schedule, you have 22 percent less instructional time in a year,” Hoover High’s principal told VOSD. “Teachers balk at that, and rightly so.”

 The most recent episode of Good Schools For All, VOSD’s education podcast, tackles the plight of English-learning students from the perspective of one parent whose child is bilingual but whose designation by the district as an English-learner has followed him around for years. We also tackle a new multi-lingual education law on the ballot in November that could change non-English instruction as we currently know it.

Opinion: Against the Chargers’ Stadium Plan

Ray Ellis, candidate for San Diego City Council District 1, laid out a full-throated rejection of the Chargers’ most recent stadium plan for which the team is currently gathering signatures. “It is unfair to San Diego taxpayers, threatens our tourism economy, ignores our most pressing needs and exposes the city to financial pitfalls similar to the pension crisis,” Ellis writes. He points to past financial follies in San Diego, such as bad pension deals and the ticket guarantee the city gave to the Chargers, as examples of San Diego’s inability to protect itself from complex financial problems. If anything were to go not-as-planned, “San Diego taxpayers would be forced to backfill shortfalls,” Ellis writes.

Faulconer Misses 84 Percent of SANDAG Meetings

A recent vote taken by the transportation agency SANDAG was notable because of the tax increase that was being voted on. KPBS reports on another reason the vote was notable: Mayor Kevin Faulconer actually showed up to participate, in contrast with the prior 16 months where he skipped the meetings. (Faulconer joined a minority in voting against the increase.) When asked about his abysmal 16 percent attendance record since taking office, Faulconer said Councilwoman Lori Zapf is his alternate on the SANDAG board. “As mayor of the city, I do a lot of great things,” Faulconer said.

Hospital Filmed Female Patients

Women who underwent surgery or C-section procedures at Sharp Grossmont’s Women’s Health Center between July 2012 and June 2013 were secretly filmed “in their most vulnerable state, under anesthesia, exposed,” reports inewsource. In an effort to find out how drugs were being stolen, the hospital installed cameras in carts where the drugs were carried. The filming of patients was unintentional but may have broken patient privacy laws. “It is unclear how many patients were captured in those clips because the cameras turned on when they detected motion in the room,” inewsource writes.

Seals, People, Courts, Years

Just like the seals who return every season, the controversy surrounding the Children’s Pool in La Jolla is back again. This time, an Orange County judge has ruled that we aren’t allowed to block human access to a public beach just because the seals have taken up there. Additionally, the judge found that if we wanted to do such a thing, we would have to coordinate with federal officials to protect the marine life, the Union-Tribune reports. The issue now heads back home to San Diego where the City Council will have to consider what to do next. In the meantime, Bryan Pease, a candidate for city attorney and longtime activist on this issue, filed for an injunction in federal court to block the ruling. This issue has its own Wikipedia page if you need to catch up.

News Nibbles

Trump canceled his planned visit to San Diego on Sunday. Sad! (NBC 7)

 Fresh off of saying that Trump would be disastrous for the GOP, Rep. Darrel Issa now says Trump is the “obvious choice.” (Union-Tribune)

 SeaWorld got a nice little bump in attendance recently, the Union-Tribune reports. Thanks to SeaWorld’s rent agreement with the city, San Diegans have a financial stake in the company’s success.

 San Diego police usage of a handheld facial recognition system they can use while on patrol has skyrocketed since it was introduced as a “research project” in 2013. (NBC 7)

 There’s a big concern that some packaged foods in California may be contaminated with listeria. Check all the recalls out here.

 You’ll have to be 21 years old to buy tobacco products in California, as of June 9. (NBC 7)

 If that news has your teenage hands reaching for your vape pen, you’re out of luck. The federal government will start regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco products. (Union-Tribune)

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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