Saturday, March 31, 2007

Castle Park Elementary must restore credibility

Castle Park Elementary teachers aren't the only people holding a public trust who cover up crimes. Today's paper says that one in four cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy would not report a colleague who committed sexual assault.

The difference is that the Coast Guard is trying to change this. It has created a task force to try to restore respect for the law. In the Coast Guard, 65% say that personal loyalty would affect their decision about whether to report a crime. The coast guard thinks this is a big problem.

At Castle Park, that figure was 100% in 2003. The CVESD board does not think this is a problem. In fact, intense pressure to keep quiet was placed on teachers by the school district and its laweyrs. Shame on board members Cheryl Cox (now mayor of Chula Vista), Pam Smith, Bertha Lopez, Patrick Judd and Larry Cunningham, and their law firm, Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz.

Castle Park Elementary teachers and other staff are still covering up crimes, including crimes by teacher against teacher. They are also keeping quiet the embezzlement of $20,000 from the PTA in 2004-2005. And the school district is doing nothing to raise the sense of moral or legal responsibility of teachers.

The real problem, of course, is how teachers treat kids.

The English-only staff at one grade level at Castle Park Elementary consists entirely of veterans of the costly teacher takeover of Castle Park Elementary which resulted in the loss of many good teachers before several problem teachers were ousted in 2004. Has the teacher takeover failed? No. Chula Vista Educators has more power than ever to protect bad teachers and get rid of good employees. And the silence at Castle Park and the district office means that nothing is being done to improve teachers' attitude that they belong to a members-only club that believes its members are above the law.

So who suffers most from teachers who are given the authority to create arbitrary rules in place of the rule of law? The kids.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bejarano continues CVESD tradition of secrecy and payback

What do you call it when members of a school board violate the law repeatedly, harming children in the process, then use taxpayer dollars to pay lawyers to cover up those crimes? What do you call it when they then appoint someone with a big name who has been close to someone at the center of district action, and who also did favors for the board during a recent campaign?

I call it a system where voters are inconsequential. How can voters throw out sleazy politicians when they don't know the truth? Larry Cunningham brags that the voters kept the incumbants for some reason other than the habit of voters to vote for incumbants, and the big money and secrecy that has marked the campaigns and official actions of the incumbants. Quit kidding yourself, Larry. If the voters knew the truth about you, they'd throw you out.

I'm not the only one who has noticed the problems with Cheryl Cox, Bertha Lopez, Pam Smith, Pat Judd and Larry Cunningham. On February 1, 2007 Miguel Ramirez wrote to the Union Tribune about the CVESD board's cozy relationship to Bejarano:

District's choice of Bejarano assailed

Regarding the appointment of David Bejarano to fill a school board vacancy:
This is so blatantly a payback that I cannot believe there has not yet been an outcry.

David Bejarano is now on the Chula Vista Elementary school board. You mean the same David Bejarano who sent me a letter urging me to vote Cheryl Cox for mayor of Chula Vista? You mean the same David Bejarano who sent me a letter urging me to vote to re-elect school board members Larry Cunningham, Bertha Lopez and Pam Smith?

Now, I don't remember much Latin from school but I do remember the term “quid pro quo” and it sure seems to be what's going on here. According to the legal definition of quid pro quo, it means a person is “getting something of value in return for giving something of value.” Lend your name to our campaigns and if we win, we will ensure we return the favor. That seems to be the board's action loud and clear.
Then I find out from the Union Tribune's Jan. 24 article, “Ex-police chief to join Chula Vista school board,” that Bejarano's wife is the “secretary of the assistant superintendent” of the school district!

There's something rotten in Chula Vista and it stinks all the way to Denmark. Why would this decorated law enforcement official move backward in his career by taking a seat on an elementary school board? Remember, Bejarano was the chief of police in San Diego followed by his presidential appointment as U.S. marshal for San Diego and Imperial counties.

That Bejarano is yet another Bonita resident is also a sticking point. The constituency and media called for a representative from outside of Bonita, where only three of the district's 43 schools are located. Instead, the board members unanimously voted to appoint their neighbor, the one who was so friendly during their campaigns that they just couldn't help but return the favor and appoint him.

This is disgusting.

Chula Vista

I couldn't agree more, Miguel.