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.

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