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On the surface, a teacher showering a student with praise, or offering to mentor him or her, or giving rides home might not seem inappropriate – in fact, they could be a sign of a teacher going above and beyond to help.
But so-called grooming behavior, in which an adult establishes trust and affection in a child in order to abuse him or her, can be a precursor to a serious crime.
In numerous cases we’ve come across as part of our ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct in public schools, teachers first groomed victims by befriending them and establishing deep emotional connections.
In a new story, Kayla Jimenez spells out why it’s so hard for schools to recognize and punish grooming behaviors, and explores a case at Bonita Vista High School that drives home why school officials should take signs of grooming seriously.
Security Top of Mind for Baja California Voters
On Election Day, we love sending reporters to polling places across the county to hear from voters about what motivated them to come out to vote.
In this week’s Border Report, VOSD contributor David Maung kept the tradition alive by speaking with voters in Tijuana on Sunday.
Almost universally, the voters he spoke with cited safety and security as their top issue. Tijuana has experienced surging violence that’s made it the deadliest city in Mexico.
“I think that public security is the No. 1 issue we face here,” Hector Ibarra, a teacher from Mexicali, told us. “All the past governments have promised us good security, but it seems like things are just to the contrary. Corruption in the government is also a big problem and has really put the state in debt.”
The Morena Party, led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, won big across Mexico, including in Baja California. Its candidates won the governorship and the Tijuana mayor’s race.
- In other border news, the U-T reports that San Diego immigration court has been overwhelmed by the number of additional cases brought under a Trump administration program that returns asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for hearings here.
Chula Vista Hire-Fire-Gate Isn’t Dying Down
Chula Vista City Councilwoman Jill Galvez is facing a recall less than a year into her first term for saying publicly that Cultural Arts Manager Lynnette Tessitore’s position should be eliminated. That didn’t sit well with her union.
The U-T shed some more light Monday on what Tessitore actually does. Among other things, she’s responsible for a grant program that pays for emerging artists to showcase their work and brings arts programming like the San Diego Ballet to the South Bay. She also created the city’s first historic preservation program.
Galvez has stood by her public statements, arguing that the city must make room for more police officers and firefighters. Last year, Chula Vista voters approved their second tax increase in as many years to plug holes in the budget.
She told the U-T that the city needs to have tough discussions “without fear of public outcry from a few interested parties.”
In Other News
- More than one in six complaints made to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department received no response of any kind, according to data released to KPBS as part of a settlement of the outlet’s lawsuit against the county over access to records. Of the complaints that received a response, the average response time was 13 days and 42 people had to wait longer than a month. (KPBS)
- UCSD is considering cutting a shuttle service between campus and the Sorrento Valley Coaster Station. (NBC San Diego)
- A longtime San Diego employer is changing its famously clunky name. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Navy’s cyberwarfare arm that goes by SPAWAR and resides in the long, low-slung warehouse along I-5 in Old Town, will now answer to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, or NAVWAR. Much easier. Rolls right off the tongue. (Union-Tribune)
- Rep. Scott Peters, who has yet to draw a challenger to his re-election in a coastal district that was represented by a Republican just seven years ago, has taken a leadership position in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The group is in charge of helping Democrats win House races nationwide, and Peters will head the effort in the Western states. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and Jesse Marx.