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Our country is experiencing a moment of reckoning. The sheer number of sexual harassment and abuse allegations now coming to light would be astonishing if it wasn’t for that fact that, at least for many women, the bad behavior has long been an open secret.
Locally, the rising wave of victims feeling emboldened to tell their stories helped Voice of San Diego reporter Ashly McGlone uncover a sexual harassment story she’s been trying to nail down for years.
Four women who attended La Jolla High School between 2002 and 2013 shared their stories with McGlone. They said they were groped or touched inappropriately by Martin Teachworth, a longtime physics teacher at the school who retired earlier this year.
On this week’s podcast, McGlone sits down with VOSD’s Scott Lewis to talk about how the story came together, how the school’s handling of the sexual harassment accusations failed the women who came forward and the impact the story has had so far.
“There’s a lot of reflection going on,” McGlone said. “It is getting shared within the La Jolla community, especially [among] the graduates there, and there’s not a ton of surprise. People have described it as sort of an open secret.”
Loxie Gant, one of four women who says Teachworth harassed her, also joined the podcast to talk about her experience, and why she wanted to get the story out now.
Gant recently became a mom herself, and said it pushed her to reach out to McGlone.
“We’re faced with the idea of buying a house in that neighborhood and sending our child to that school,” Gant said. “It hit me really hard that there’s a lot of parents that aren’t aware, and they’re trusting the school district and the La Jolla High school system in order to protect their kids, and there’s something wrong. There’s just something missing here.”
Also on the podcast, Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts discuss the wave of sexual harassment stories in the news, including a new accusation against former Mayor Bob Filner.
The trio also breaks down a scathing ruling against activist Mark Arabo. A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled this week that Arabo accrued improper compensation when he ran a trade group of independent corner stores called the Neighborhood Market Association. The judge questioned the credibility of Arabo and many of the witnesses called to testify on his behalf, and ordered Arabo to repay the association $248,000.
Hero of the Week
The heroes this week are the former La Jolla High School students who talked to Voice of San Diego about the sexual harassment they experienced.
Goat of the Week
The Public Utilities Commission gets the goat this week. KPBS reported that court documents show that the commission “used public money to try to block search warrants in an ongoing investigation into possible collusion with Southern California Edison over the premature closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.”