Former Coronado students and a former coach are speaking out about ways they were mistreated in the district — and how they weren’t surprised by the tortilla-throwing incident earlier this year.
Kayla Jimenez spoke to multiple students of color and one coach who experienced racist treatment in the classroom and on the field during their time at Coronado High School. Some students lived off island and transferred into the district. Others lived on the island their whole lives and were still targeted with racist tropes.
Two Black girls were referred to as “Kizzy No. 1” and “Kizzy No. 2” by classmates after they watched the movie “Roots.”
A Black football player was constantly monitored by teammates, he said. He was either judged as too Black or not Black enough, depending on his behavior.
A community member publicly taunted a Latino head football coach and insinuated he should be a janitor.
Racial insensitivity and racism, the former students and coach told Jimenez, were a defining part of their experience. It was no wonder to them then when supporters of the Coronado basketball team started hurling tortillas at an opposing team made up of less affluent, less White players.
After a police officer murdered George Floyd last summer, setting off a wave of protests for racial justice, Coronado had its own moment of racial reckoning. It set up an equity committee to facilitate ongoing conversations about empathy, inclusion and how students of color experience life in the district.
“Some of that is having tough and messy conversations, but they’re in it and they’re going through it,” said one member of the committee.
Vaccine Mandate on Horizon for Some Public Employees
The two largest local governments in San Diego are on the verge of requiring their employees be vaccinated or face regular testing. The city and the county employ approximately 27,000 in total.
Andrew Keatts reports that the city is negotiating the terms of a mandate with six unions. Chula Vista, the next largest city in San Diego County, is not ready to commit to a mandate, but said it was looking into it.
Earlier this week, the state imposed a similar requirement for its employees. Other cities, like Long Beach and Los Angeles, have also announced mandates.
Meanwhile, public health officials said they’re looking to open more testing sites throughout the county as new cases surge.
MTS Board Approves New Security Contract
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System board voted unanimously on Thursday to move forward with an up to five-year, $66 million agreement with a new security contractor.
Pasadena-based Inter-Con is expected to replace longtime MTS security contractor Allied Universal in January. The change follows a series of calls the past couple years for the agency to change its historically punitive enforcement approach. The new contract reflects the unique structure of MTS’s enforcement arm, which relies on both MTS code compliance officers and private security guards to patrol its transit stations and bus stops.
Inter-Con has previously touted a spotless record on use-of-force incidents and lawsuits that have in recent years led to a hail of concerns about the approach of both MTS and its current contractor. Lisa Halverstadt and Jesse Marx last month dug into Inter-Con’s track record and found a more complicated story.
The MTS board also voted Thursday to extend an initially one-year diversion pilot to lessen the burden of fare evasion violations for another year to allow for further evaluation and to create a 13-member community advisory group to provide input on the agency’s security practices, a step recommended by an outside review of MTS’s security operation earlier this year.
In Other News
- Sheriff Bill Gore announced he won’t run for re-election in 2022. (City News Service)
- A protester arrested by plainclothes San Diego police officers and thrown into an unmarked van last year has filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and more. (Union-Tribune)
- Charges have been filed against a Navy sailor for allegedly starting a fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard last year. (NBC 7)
- A new San Diego audit praises the city for how it spent $250 million in federal relief in 2020, but highlights a few possible exceptions, including an overpayment for portable showers for the homeless at the Convention Center. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt and edited by Sara Libby.