Morning Report: Few Consequences When School Employees Fail to Report Abuse - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Few Consequences When School Employees Fail to Report Abuse

A classroom at San Diego High School. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

During our months-long investigation into sexual abuse and misconduct in schools, Voice of San Diego has uncovered multiple stories about teachers who had reason to suspect child abuse, but didn’t report it.

Most school workers are “mandated reporters,” meaning they are legally required to report suspected abuse. That sounds great. But, in practice, the state’s mandated reporter law isn’t working, Voice’s Kayla Jimenez discovered.

Since at least 2002, neither the San Diego District Attorney nor the City Attorney have prosecuted a single case – or even received a complaint – for failure to report, District Attorney Summer Stephan said. Other counties around the state have also pursued few or no prosecutions.

Jimenez put together an FAQ on exactly who is a mandated reporter, who they have to report to and what is supposed to happen when they don’t.

Stephan said the law has several loopholes and her team is exploring whether it needs to be strengthened.

Tracking Hate in the Digital Age

White supremacist groups have evolved into leaderless, decentralized movements — making them harder to detect — but they still communicate through social networks, where they can influence and radicalize one another.

Jesse Marx writes in the North County Report that the recent shooting at a Poway synagogue should be seen as a world-connected event, stemming from a coherent, though vile, political ideology. To say that the perpetrators of mass violence are “acting alone,” one expert on global terrorism explained, is misleading.

Marx surveyed local law enforcement agencies to get a sense of how they’re coming to grips with the reality of domestic terrorism in the digital age. The various programs and initiatives to counter extremism, though useful, also seem reactive.

Meanwhile, the cost of combating and protecting oneself against these threats is growing. Since 2012, more than $3.7 million in federal funding had made its way to local nonprofits, many of them Jewish organizations, for security purposes.

That figure is likely to increase. The governor’s office this week acknowledged that the demand for security funding has been outpacing the supply and agreed to provide an extra $15 million in funding next year.

YIMBY Mayor Says He’s Neutral on SB 50

Bigger cities have come out against California’s efforts to build more densely around transit corridors — particularly SB 50, the controversial state bill that would allow taller and more dense construction near transit stops — but San Diego is not among them.

City Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, chair of the Land Use and Housing Committee, has no plans to take up a resolution on whether to support or oppose SB 50, which would allow developers to add stories to multifamily housing buildings within a half mile of major transit stations. The legislation, U-T columnist Michael Smolens writes, could undermine a similar proposal here — unveiled by Mayor Kevin Faulconer — to dramatically increase the number of allowable homes.

For instance, Faulconer’s draft proposal would also increase height limits in certain parts of the city, but it provides more protection for single-family-home neighborhoods. He, too, is neutral on SB 50, but he’s watching it as it moves through the political process and gets amended.

In Other News

Correction

Tuesday’s People’s Reporter post detailing how much of the material from people’s blue recycling bins actually gets recycled improperly referred to recycling facility workers as city employees. The city contracts with private companies to sort its recycling.

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

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