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Does The Public Have The Right To Know About School Employees’ Sexual Misconduct?

KPBS Midday Edition

Above: KPBS Midday Edition

Voice of San Diego Pushes To Make School Sexual Misconduct Records Public

GUEST:

Ashly McGlone, investigative reporter, Voice of San Diego

Transcript

Does the public have a right to know about teachers and school employees who have been investigated or disciplined for inappropriate behavior?

That question is at the heart of an effort by Voice of San Diego to obtain records of substantiated instances of sexual misbehavior and misconduct committed by "employees, agents or volunteers" at San Diego County public schools. Records disclosed so far reveal dozens of instances ranging from sexting to groping. But the fight over those records reveals the tools school districts and individual teachers have to keep them hidden.

Investigative reporter Ashly McGlone asked all 43 public school districts in the county for records in November. She reported that while some districts have refused to produce records at all, others have been stopped by the teachers accused of misconduct.

"Those actions are known as reverse California Public Records Act cases, or reverse-CPRAs," McGlone wrote. "The cases arose after school districts notified employees they planned to release complaints, investigation records and settlements involving the employee. The teachers went to court to get an injunction to stop the release of records."

Voice has won at least one reverse-CPRA case. A judge ruled earlier this month that the Vista Unified School District must release the name of a former Vista High School teacher who was suspended for sending sexually inappropriate messages to students. He was eventually transferred to Vista Magnet Middle School, where he still teaches.

McGlone joins KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday with more on Voice of San Diego's legal fight.

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