san diego school covid
Third grade students at Encanto Elementary watch a video during class. San Diego Unified School District reopened classrooms in April 2021 to students whose families have opted to return to in-person instruction. / Photo by Adriana Heldizsroo

A surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant is reigniting classroom challenges reminiscent of the previous school year. Only a few weeks into the new one, officials at Chula Vista Elementary School had to send students from four classrooms home.

But as Kayla Jimenez writes, the latest guidance on when school officials should isolate teachers and students is a lot more complicated this time around — and almost unintelligible.

The new quarantine protocols are based largely on the circumstances of individuals. For instance, there’s a lot of nuance around types of exposure, and even coronavirus test types. There are also varying rules around how long someone needs to stay away from the classroom. One person could be out for eight days, another for 11.

Most school districts are following a four-page document and flow chart provided by the San Diego County Office of Education that reflects the advice coming from both the state and the local level. But even those who are tasked with assisting school leaders navigate the first weeks of school are frustrated and scrambling to stay up to date.

“It could all change in the next 10 minutes,” is how one school nursing coordinator put it. 

City to Pay Family of Man Killed by SDPD Officer $3M

A case that was set to put the San Diego Police Department’s culture and practices on trial will instead end with a $3 million payment to the family of Fridoon Nehad, a mentally ill man shot and killed by SDPD officer Neal Browder in 2015. Nehad was unarmed.

The settlement must still be approved by the San Diego City Council.

VOSD led a group of media outlets in 2015 in suing to unseal security footage of the shooting, which ultimately showed Browder approached the scene without illuminating the lights on his vehicle or announcing himself as a police officer, and shot Nehad almost immediately upon exiting his vehicle, as Nehad was stopped or even backpedaling.

Before the case settled, documents filed throughout the process illuminated some very telling truths: SDPD officials didn’t discipline Browder in any way or even discuss the shooting with him at all, and denied Internal Affairs investigators’ request to interview Browder as they probed the case.

Politics Roundup

  • Meet the new legislative session. Same as the old legislative session. Sara Libby surveyed local lawmakers about their priorities in Sacramento as they return from recess, and the bills to watch in the fourth quarter look an awful lot like the bills to watch at this time last year. In the meantime, the California attorney general is backing a San Diego hotel worker ordinance in court. 
  • Over on the podcast, the crew walked through all the crazy news of the week involving the Sheriff’s Department. Bill Gore and his team are getting lit up for publicizing a video of a deputy they claimed overdosed from fentanyl simply by encountering it. His department also won’t say which criminal offenses will get you booked into jail. 

In Other News

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

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