Morning Report: Teacher Accused of Molestation Was Allowed to Retire - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Teacher Accused of Molestation Was Allowed to Retire

Crown Point Junior Music Academy / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

In 2016, a student at Crown Point Junior Music Academy, an elementary school part of San Diego Unified,  reported a teacher who she said kissed and licked her neck and touched her inappropriately. But instead of moving to fire the teacher, San Diego Unified allowed him to take sick leave, then retire. 

It also agreed to keep quiet about the incident.

Kayla Jimenez reports that while the district insulated itself from a potential legal battle over the teacher’s employment, it also ensured that a serious allegation of abuse against a young child stayed hidden from potential future employers and the public. 

We’ve seen many examples of this practice over the past two years, as part of our ongoing series on sexual misconduct in local public schools. 

The teacher in the Crown Point case did not deny that the incident took place when he was initially confronted by the school’s principal. He would, however, later write to the district’s HR department and accuse the girl of being confused about a harmless interaction. 

What the Mayor’s Big Airport Transit Announcement Means

San Diego took another step toward building a massive transit hub that’ll help get people out of their cars and to the airport. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and company made an announcement Wednesday. 

One little caveat: the deal struck between regional agencies is non-binding. It essentially calls on the Navy to consider a “San Diego Grand Central” station when collecting private bids to redevelop the property that officials are eyeing. 

Andrew Keatts reports that the Navy will decide if the transit hub becomes a thing. 

The Airport Authority also announced last  week that it had reached an agreement with its airlines to provide up to $500 million to improve transportation access to the airport. That could eventually include the airport connection to Grand Central station.

Development Moratorium Causes a Stir in Carlsbad

Carlsbad City Councilwoman Barbara Hamilton is proposing a six-month pause on new housing projects so that officials can rethink the ability of homebuilders to buy their way around affordable housing and parking requirements. 

At a recent public meeting, Hamilton said she was alarmed by the rapid pace of development in two existing neighborhoods and alarmed by how many of those units are on the luxury end. 

Normally, this is the kind of proposal that might engender serious support. But Hamilton’s plan encountered significant opposition — from activists, developers, property owners and even a member of her own Council. 

“I just think we need to be honest about what we’re doing,” Hamilton told Jesse Marx in the latest North County Report. 

Marx writes that the dispute is yet another example of Carlsbad’s changing politics and priorities. Democrats took control of the City Council last November and seem to be caught between conflicting values. They want, on the one hand, to make housing more affordable and transit more widely available, but they also want to maintain the look and feel of the beach-town that they love. 

Four Types of Homeless Housing, Explained

If you’re confused about the different types of housing that’s common to the homeless community, don’t worry. Lisa Halverstadt breaks down the bureaucracy for you in a new video and explains the differences between shelters, transitional, permanent supportive and affordable housing

Get used to hearing about permanent supportive. The San Diego City Council recently approved a resolution to build at least 140 permanent supportive units in each of the city’s nine districts.

More Hunter Stumbles

Scandal-plagued Rep. Duncan Hunter or his team deleted from social media accounts a group photo they’d posted of the congressman standing next to a man flashing a hand gesture associated with white supremacist bigotry. The photo was taken at a Fourth of July event. Hunter’s Democratic challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar, who Hunter smeared last year with racist attacks, said, “It’s a very sensitive topic because we’ve had a white nationalist attempt to burn down a mosque in our district.” Hunter’s spokesman said the congressman isn’t a racist.

Hunter has other problems, too, like the criminal case alleging his spent campaign money on himself and on affairs he was having. 

That, in particular, may not be playing well in his district: Pene Manale, a Kiwanis Club member who organized a Fourth of July parade in Alpine, said the congressman received a “rather cool reception” when he arrived. “That is maybe because Alpine is a family focused community and we believe in good family values and honesty, which he obviously does not,” she told Times of San Diego.

In Other News

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

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