The Redlands Unified School District headquarters / Photo courtesy of Redlands Unified

Like many school districts in San Diego County, Redlands Unified School District in San Bernardino County was hit with a series of sexual abuse cases involving students, yet, as our Kayla Jimenez reports, the distric did something unusual: It took dramatic action to prevent future incidents.

After agreeing to pay out more than $30 million in settlements over the several years, Redlands enacted new policies to define both physical and electronic boundaries between teachers and students, and what happens if teachers violate those rules. The new policies aim to address so-called grooming behaviors that are often a precursor to abuse.

Several San Diego school districts don’t have clear policies establishing boundaries between educators and students, and some have paid a big price as a result.

Redlands’ response is notable, Jimenez reports, because the district has sought to lower the threshold for what should be reported to authorities, a tack that allows for a far more proactive approach to preventing abuse.

Culture Report: Art for the Tik-Tok and Reality TV Generation

In this week’s Culture Report, VOSD contributor Julia Dixon Evans introduces us to a unique installation by Porto Vista Hotel’s curatorial resident Brunno Silva, who is debuting a two-screen project meant to challenge audiences’ attention spans.

São Paulo-born Silva’s two-hour video and audio presentation will feature work from two dozen artists across the globe, including several San Diego natives.

Also in this week’s arts and culture rundown: A San Diego Magazine roundup of predictions about San Diego’s food future, details on closing (and opening) exhibits, a new zero-waste community kitchen in Oceanside and more.

Airport Announces New Transit Deal

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority announced a deal with its airlines worth half a billion dollars to improve access and alleviate traffic to the airport.

Potential projects include a roadway connecting Laurel Street directly to the airport with no traffic lights. It would remove an estimated 45,000 cars per day from Harbor Drive and could free up space for potential trolley and Rapid Bus service, the agency said.

As Andrew Keatts has reported, the city of San Diego and SANDAG want to build a “San Diego Grand Central” on land currently occupied by the Navy, connecting the terminals to the regional trolley system with a rail-based people mover. How to pay for it all was the open question.

After heavy scrutiny from other public officials last year, the Airport Authority pumped the brakes on its plan to redevelop Terminal 1 after lots of pushback from local agencies. 

Family Separations Might Still Be Happening at San Diego-Tijuana Border

Human rights advocates are warning that a new deal between the United States and Mexico is unlikely to curb migration. Instead, Roll Call reports, the decision to require certain migrants to wait in Mexico while their immigration cases unfold in U.S. courts could lead to the separation of more families, restrict due process rights and put pregnant women and others in harm’s way.

The Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy was piloted at the San Ysidro port of entry in January and expanded to Calexico-Mexicali and other parts of the southwest. More than 10,000 migrants have been affected, according to Mexican data cited by Roll Call.

After President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexico to help deter migration from Central America and elsewhere, Mexico agreed to offer visas, work permits and aid to those waiting out their U.S. cases in Mexico. The U.S. policy continues while it’s being contested in court.

NBC San Diego reports that human rights advocates are also demanding the immediate end to the Trump administration’s border surveillance tactics. Amnesty International said federal officials’ scrutiny of U.S. citizens tied to last year’s migrant caravan was “a politically motivated campaign of harassment” against those who legally defend and educate migrants.

In Other News

  • Former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed has filed paperwork to potential run for Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat, joining El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and two other Republicans. They appear to be angling for GOP support should Hunter, who’s set to go on trial in September, resign. 
  • Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher was acquitted of most charges against him, including the most serious ones, by a military jury in San Diego Tuesday. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego Magazine asked various experts to predict what San Diego will look like 50 years from now.
  • County health officials revealed Tuesday that another child has been diagnosed with E. Coli associated with animals at the county fair. (10News)
  • Dozens of seasonal Cal Fire firefighters are removing vegetation in far East County as part of a state initiative to lessen wildfire risk. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt, and edited by Sara Libby.

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