Porter Elementary School is in Crisis

Many of you will already be aware of the situation at Porter Elementary School, as it was highlighted in multiple articles in the Voice of San Diego.

For those of you who aren’t, there are currently complaints filed with San Diego Unified School District, the California State Equity Office and the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. These complaints allege discrimination, safety violations, inadequate response to special needs, retaliation and more. San Diego Unified’s own investigative process has deemed the claims justified.

And yet, the response from the District seems to be entirely defensive. The only counsellor for 833 students has been notified that her hours will be reduced next year. NAACP representatives were told just yesterday that they must be confined to the counsellor’s office or leave school grounds; not only by Principal Chavez, but also by Area Superintendent Bivins. We have sent a letter of protest to the School Board.

The school has no PTA. One the day we were there, a parent was complaining about sickness being spread on school grounds; she was denied a conversation with Principal Chavez, who emerged from her office shortly after the parent left.

While the District has claimed that a “special team of counsellors” has been assigned to the school, these were not in evidence during yesterday’s (all too brief) NAACP visit to campus, nor has the current school counsellor met any of these alleged worthies. Indeed, the guidance assistant previously assigned to the school declined to return after sustaining multiple injuries on school grounds.

We urge all San Diego Residents who are concerned about the deplorable state of Porter Elementary and schools like to to go to the May 14th Board of Education Meeting, and demand that SD Unified do better for our children, and operate under truly equitable best practices. Please submit a public testimony request form if you would like your voice to be heard.

We’ll warn you–you’ll have to stay late. In what appears to be a further effort to suppress community input, the Board suddenly and quietly changed its rules to permit comment only at the ends of its meetings, not near the beginning as is customary for most public bodies.

Porter Elementary is part of the Lincoln Cluster, so to warm up for the SD Unified School Board Meeting, you might go to the Lincoln Cluster meeting on Tuesday, May 13th. At that meeting, one of the trustees who was present when the NAACP was booted off Porter’s campus will speak. The meeting will also contain a presentation on LCAP, which is one of the few ways we can try to ensure the School District spends our money fairly and in line with the needs of our kids.

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