Morning Report: Muslim Bullying Incident at Madison High Sparked Federal Investigation - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Muslim Bullying Incident at Madison High Sparked Federal Investigation

Ismaeel Fadel is a junior at University City High School, where he transferred following a 2017 incident at Madison High in which he was called a terrorist. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

When a group of families and organizations sued San Diego Unified over a plan it created to combat anti-Muslim bullying within schools, the group argued in court that such bullying wasn’t actually a problem, and that the whole thing was a step toward establishing a preference for Muslim students in the district.

That lawsuit recently settled.

But in a new story, VOSD contributor Lyle Moran writes about a previously unreported instance of anti-Muslim bullying at James Madison High in 2017. That incident, and the school’s response to it, was so troubling that it prompted the student involved to switch schools and a teacher to file a complaint with the federal government. The federal agency that investigated found issues with how the district handled everything.

The teacher who reported the incident also says he was retaliated against for filing the complaint.

A spokeswoman for the school district says it hasn’t created any new policies in the aftermath of the incident but that it has created many events and communications regarding protecting students from bullying.

CEQA Lawsuits Are a Last-Ditch Effort in Water Conflicts

The California Environmental Quality Act is a familiar tool for groups to delay or kill projects large and small. It’s been used to fight housing developments, solar projects and even bike lanes.

In the latest Environment Report, Ry Rivard says filing a CEQA lawsuit has now also become common in major water conflicts.

Last week, the Imperial Irrigation District filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block a deal that could lead to further rations of the Colorado River. The federal government also filed suit to stop new state regulations from going into effect.

Also in this week’s roundup of environmental news: The city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority want to build a hydroelectric facility in East County that would provide power for 325,000 homes. It’s an idea some Water Authority members were not on board with several years ago.

The Ties That Transcend the Border

Though the county recently secured a shelter location for asylum-seeking migrants who need a temporary place to stay before they connect with family or sponsors elsewhere in the country, there remains only one long-term shelter for people who have nowhere to go.

That shelter, Buzzfeed News reports, ends up taking in many migrants who’ve just given birth.

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m running a shelter or running a maternity ward,” Pastor Bill Jenkins of Christ Ministry Center joked to Buzzfeed.

The influx of asylum-seeking migrants has prompted President Donald Trump to escalate his threats to close off the border. As KPBS’s Jean Guerrero writes in a New York Times op-ed, those threats ignore the many intricate ways the region is interconnected, whether it’s teachers who commute into the United States for work, seniors who receive more affordable care in Mexico or family members who cross the border to care for ailing relatives.

On that front, the Cross Border Xpress in Otay Mesa and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico announced the completion of a $95 million airport renovation project, the Union-Tribune reported.

Some San Diego Speed Limits Can’t Be Enforced

We’re not advising you to ignore speed limits on city streets, but you should know that state law makes speeding tickets in certain areas unenforceable.

Of more than 650 streets that the city is responsible for, the Union-Tribune reports about 100 had stretches where police can’t enforce the speed limit by radar. That’s because state law requires cities to conduct traffic surveys every five to 10 years to maintain those limits.

As VOSD reported in 2016, the purpose of the surveys is to make sure cities don’t create speed traps — sections of road where a posted speed limit is lower than it should be and not justified by traffic safety data.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Sara Libby.

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