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Porter Elementary School / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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San Diego Unified School District conducts surveys each year to find out just how safe its students are feeling in their schools.

VOSD’s Will Huntsberry analyzed the surveys and found that at some elementary schools, as many as 100 percent of students feel safe. At others, the percentage dips to 50 percent and below.

At Porter Elementary, where Huntsberry has highlighted problems before, 70 percent of students reported feeling safe.

Whether students feel safe at school can have an enormous impact on their performance and ability to absorb new information and concepts. 

Schools “need to be constantly asking ‘What can we do to improve how students are experiencing conditions for learning?’” David Osher, who studies school safety at the American Institutes for Research, told Huntsberry.

District officials at San Diego Unified were vague about how the district uses the survey results, but cited several districtwide policies, like the use of restorative justice, a curriculum known as No Place for Hate and anti-bullying initiatives that are meant to improve school climates.

Outside Factors Throw a Wrench in San Diego’s Climate Goals

A dispute over vehicle fuel efficiency standards between California and the Trump administration is complicating San Diego’s attempts to meet its climate action goals. KPBS reports that an upward trend of vehicle travel partly explains why the city is failing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. 

San Diego assumed it could halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, and part of the plan for doing that entailed diverting methane-emitting waste from landfills. But the city isn’t diverting as much as it wanted. 

Policy shifts in Beijing also complicate the situation in San Diego. As Ry Rivard reported last year, much of our recycling had been going to China but China no longer wants it. 

In other environmental news, Solana Beach has voted to ban the sale of single-use plastic items that are not compostable or recyclable. Under the measure, 10News reports, restaurants will no longer be able to serve those items, and Styrofoam coolers and boogie boards will no longer be allowed on the beach. 

License Plate Readers Still Raising Concerns

Earlier this summer, the California Legislature ordered an audit of automatic license plate reader technologies after a digital privacy group found that federal immigration authorities had access to data captured by local law enforcement agencies in San Diego and elsewhere. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now raising concerns about how one company has been training and marketing its products to police. Training materials, for instance, do not mention the California Values Act, a 2017 law that prohibits data-sharing between federal immigration authorities and municipalities. 

The widespread use of license plate readers has alarmed advocates of civil liberties because the technology can track vehicles and identify drivers who’ve never been suspected of a crime. SDPD stopped sharing its data with federal agencies last summer to ensure it was complying with state law. 

Carlsbad is also using license plate readers. The police department logged more than 8 million license plate records in 2017.

Dems Start Taking Sides in South Bay Supervisor Race

The race for county supervisor in North County has drawn competing endorsements from many high-profile San Diego Democrats, and now the race for the South Bay seat on the board is forcing Dems into different corners too.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria has endorsed state Sen. Ben Hueso in the race to replace County Supervisor Greg Cox. Meanwhile, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said during an interview for this week’s VOSD podcast that she’s backing Nora Vargas in the race. 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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