Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Columbus Dispatch on the story that the San Diego Union Tribune covers up

The San Diego Union Tribune has a habit of killing stories that embarrass school districts--unless the story is too big to cover up, or some editor has a personal ax to grind.

I have experience with the antics of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, where board members Patrick Judd, Pamela Smith, Larry Cunningham, Bertha Lopez and Cheryl Cox/David Bejarano have received reports of possible teacher misconduct, including a possible Columbine-style shooting by a teacher, and then decided that the safest course of action to ensure their re-election would be NOT TO INVESTIGATE.

Fortunately, the Columbus Dispatch has taken the issue of school district cover-ups head-on.

"[The system] puts the rights of teachers before those of students. It hides information from parents and potential employers. It allows secret deals with troubled teachers. A 10-month Dispatch investigation, a first-of-its-kind analysis of the system, found that 1,722 educators have been disciplined since 2000 for everything from shoplifting to murder. Two-thirds were allowed to return to the classroom or start school jobs..."

The newspaper was attacked for reporting these problems.

"Reporters Jennifer Smith Richards and Jill Riepenhoff were accused of "doing this to ruin my life" and "doing this to drag my name through the mud."

Those words are strikingly similar to what public entity attorneys Daniel Shinoff, Lesley Devaney, and Ray Artiano are saying in their defamation lawsuit against me regarding my website.

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