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LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Questions Remain In SDPD’s De-Escalation Training, Keeping Safe As COVID-19 Restrictions Loosen, Disaster Preparedness During A Pandemic, And How Can Schools Teach Children About Racism And Biases

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Even as the San Diego Police Department is requiring its officers to learn de-escalation tactics, some experts and advocates say the regimen still fosters an us-vs.-them mentality. Plus, we break down what you can do to keep yourself safe as COVID-19 restrictions loosen. Also, how do you evacuate from a fire while maintaining social distance? The Red Cross has a plan. And, some San Diego County schools are teaching children as young as kindergarten about racism and bias. It’s part of the Anti-Defamation League’s ‘No Place For Hate’ program.

Speaker 1: 00:01 San Diego considers mandating police use deescalation tactics and messages are mixed about ways to stay safe from COVID-19. I'm Alison st. John with Mark sour. This is KPBS midday. Today is Thursday, June 11th

Speaker 2: 00:27 in the wake of protests across the country. Local police agencies have been forced to take a hard look at how officers are trained. There's a new push for a deescalation policy at the San Diego police department. But as KPBS investigative reporter, Claire Tresor explains many attitudes and procedures among local police are deeply ingrained.

Speaker 1: 00:49 The vast majority of the countless interactions police officers have with the public are peaceful and end without incident on a community outreach day. Last August San Diego police officer and use of force expert can Crees spent time talking about the positive encounters, but he also talked about when things get confrontational and people blame police.

Speaker 3: 01:12 If you just did what I told you to do you want to have at home what's happening versus society what's happened to what's happened to our side of the one that I grew up in. Man. My dad told me to just

Speaker 1: 01:23 the audio is not great because we were recording from the back of the room. But Chris goes on to make several comments like this during the presentation. His point seems to be that if people didn't resist arrest, police wouldn't have to use force

Speaker 3: 01:45 [inaudible]. When did that happen?

Speaker 1: 01:47 That put fear in my heart for my sons, Layla Aziz wasn't at the event, but we showed her the video. What happened to our society? Does he understand that everyone has not had the same experience as, as a white male growing up in the United States? The community activist from Southeast San Diego says the attitude creases is displaying is a big reason why there's so much fear and mistrust of police in the neighborhood. She serves with massive protests against police violence on people of color. Local law enforcement agencies are vowing reform departments across the County have agreed to end the use of the chokehold and are requiring at least four hours of deescalation training to comply with the new state law Aziz and others welcome the deescalation training, but say it isn't enough. They want departments to completely overhaul how officers are hired and trained. And so far that isn't on the table. Here's Sergeant Michael Bell's last August. He's the inservice training manager at the San Diego police Academy and was explaining the department's use of force procedures. If they are punching at

Speaker 4: 03:00 me or striking me or kicking me, I may respond in a similar fashion, or if they're assaulting, I may even go up to the level of Bhutan to overcome that resistance.

Speaker 1: 03:10 We asked what limits police officers might have on how much force they can use.

Speaker 4: 03:15 We don't normally put limits on the type of force or the number of times when we'll be struck, because it's all based on the suspect's resistance. I think this is still part of the kind of cowboy kind of thing going on. Instead of looking at all humans as the same, you don't know if there's a person with a mental health issue, the police Tenn certain people from certain areas that's older than they are, and you can be doing this to a 13, 14 year old kid.

Speaker 1: 03:41 As he says, she regularly sees police jumping out of cars and yelling at people in her community. She wants them to change their approach and to confront the fact that police may feel more threatened by people of color and so more likely to escalate the force they use against them, including shooting

Speaker 5: 04:00 police officers are used to literally barking out commands and having people follow the directions.

Speaker 1: 04:07 Phillip Stinson is a criminal justice professor at bowling green state university and a former police officer. He studied policing across the country and says, officers have to change how they interact with people on the street.

Speaker 5: 04:21 Then if simply, uh, the police officers would take the opportunity to, uh, step back and explain why they're taking actions. I think you'll find that people generally are more compliant.

Speaker 1: 04:32 He says the attitude shown in these clips from the San Diego police department is common

Speaker 5: 04:37 for many years now in many police departments across the country, we've really had a warrior mentality where police officers are really acting as warriors. They're going out to fight crime. They're going out to fight drugs. Uh, and with that warrior mentality really becomes a precision type military organization where, uh, we forget that one of the roles of the police is to act as guardians is to care for people,

Speaker 1: 04:59 body cam and cell phone videos, increased criticism of police, the videos frustrate Kreis and other officers because they represent a tiny fraction of their day to day actions.

Speaker 3: 05:11 But all you're going to see is about a hundred videos this year of what officer, somebody hitting somebody, and then they play it like we do that 99% of the time,

Speaker 1: 05:19 Chris made the point repeatedly in his presentation that body cameras and cell phone videos don't tell the full story. He seemed to bristle at the idea that people would watch videos and judge officers on the decisions they made.

Speaker 3: 05:33 It's very clear case law says you cannot judge offer from hindsight from the, from the comments in your soul while looking at a video and telling me how to do my job, it's already happened. You're not facing that stress next split second. It's at the moment that I use for this, my perception, no one else, not the 12 people and not to judge mine and mine alone.

Speaker 5: 05:55 No, it's not correct Stinson. That's

Speaker 1: 05:58 the wrong interpretation of case law.

Speaker 5: 06:00 Well, the implications are absolutely terrifying because then, uh, an officer can use whatever force they believe, uh, is appropriate without regard for what a reasonable officer, uh, in that situation would have done. All their training goes out the window, all of, uh, compliance with departmental policy, state law, federal law. It becomes meaningless. If an officer simply can make an a, a subjective determination, uh, that it was appropriate to use force without any regard for whether it was objective reasonable, that's scary.

Speaker 1: 06:33 Last week, San Diego's community review board on police practices had an emergency meeting to push the San Diego police department to include deescalation tactics in its use of force policy. Something the board has been asking for since 2018, but so far that hasn't happened.

Speaker 6: 06:52 We have to, we have to work hard to get rid of ones that are, that are causing the problems.

Speaker 1: 06:56 Assembly woman, Shirley Webber has helped to bring about different types of police reform, including the requirement that all officers have deescalation training, but she says, this is a small part of a large culture shift that is needed.

Speaker 6: 07:10 If you eliminate those one or two, then you start changing people's perception of, of behavior. Uh, that's number one. And then if you start as a part of your recruitment to bring in different kinds of offices from the beginning, then you at least begin the process. And it may not be as long as we think

Speaker 1: 07:25 tomorrow, we'll look at a California police department that is made deescalation central to its mission. Claire Trek, sir, KPBS news

Speaker 2: 07:35 KPBS asked the San Diego police department for updated comments based on the recent protests. But as spokesman didn't respond on Wednesday, the department announced it's now working to develop a new deescalation policy and that it could be finalized next week.

Speaker 7: 08:01 [inaudible]

Speaker 8: 08:05 beaches are filling up with sunbathers protesters are marching shoulder to shoulder, and by tomorrow Jim's buyer's museums and hotels will be allowed to open as we move rapidly from coronavirus lockdown to living life with COVID some of the messaging about what we need to do to stay safe, seems contradictory with us to talk about the risks and what we do know about how to avoid them is dr. Francesca Mariani, who is UCLA health director of infection prevention. Dr. [inaudible] thanks for being with us. Oh, thank you for having me. So now all these new, these businesses are reopening in San Diego and, uh, you know, even the zoo is opening yet. The state says the stay at home order remains in place. So it seems like a bit of a mixed message for the public. What should people take away from this?

Speaker 9: 08:54 I think, uh, that we are in a situation where we've been essentially with a stay at home order for three months at this point, and the economy needs to restart. And at the same time, we have, uh, the wonderful opportunity of a climate that allows us to do a lot of activities, uh, out where there's a lot of air circulation. And if we approach it with the correct, um, safety measures, I think we can make it work

Speaker 8: 09:41 good. Well, let's talk about some specific questions people might have as they venture out. You mentioned air circulation. I mean, going to the beach for instance, how risky is that?

Speaker 9: 09:53 Well, they told depends how much interactions you have with others. And, uh, so how much face to face unprotected interactions you have with others? And, uh, we might remember that, uh, we still have an order in place which requires us to use face coverings, uh, when we are out and face to face with other members. We're not about close family circle,

Speaker 8: 10:28 right? So last weekend I noticed, for example, at a protest in Oceanside that walked past the beach, virtually everyone in the protest was wearing a mask, whereas virtually no one on the beach was, can you reflect on that disparity?

Speaker 9: 10:44 Exactly. So, so that's the point is, is that as long as, uh, we are in a, in contact with the same people that we are always in contact with, uh, we move that environment, that home environment to the beach, and that's okay when we start interacting outside of our close home environment or household environment, uh, where we know where everybody has been. And, uh, and, uh, we know that there's been protection of us out go when we go outside, then when we lose that safety, I think that it becomes much more, uh, possible that an exposure and thus an infection, a transmission occurs. And so what I'm saying is, as long as you are on the beach with your family, with your household, and you use a face covering when you are doing activities with people outside of your household, then at that point, that is probably your best protection. So I think when we then bring it to the protest, these are protests. There's a lot of speaking, there's a lot of movement. And so there is the possibility that if somebody is infectious, without knowing it could, um, I realize, or could cough or could, could spread those virus particles to somebody who is near enough to then become infected. If everybody's wearing a mask that will not happen. And so that, that spew out of, of, uh, infectious particles will just be stopped by the face covering.

Speaker 8: 12:57 Okay. Do you have anything to say about mosques? What are you noticing? Do you think that most of the mosques we're wearing are effective?

Speaker 9: 13:05 The, the, the protection is a physical barrier, right? So what we want is really a physical barrier that stops, uh, spit stops, cough, stops anything from going out. And so we're not asking for a filtering device it's for our protection where the filtration has, uh, a role. And so, um, for that, um, there have been studies that have shown that, uh, depending on what type of face covering, whether it's a two layer or three layer that that may give more protection. Um, but the primary purpose of wearing a face covering is to stop the, um, to stop the spit and, and viral particles from going out. And so that's a physical barrier. And so any physical barrier is effective with that.

Speaker 8: 14:15 And I noticed you say going out, so it's not about protecting people to prevent the virus from coming in so much.

Speaker 9: 14:22 Yeah. The primary role of these of these face coverings is secondary role, less established, but that also is probably better than nothing that has been established is to wear a mask for your own protection. But the primary role is really to protect others from your possibly infected sputum or cough to, uh, reach out and in the air.

Speaker 8: 14:53 Okay. So far we've talked about outside activities. What about indoor activities like going to the movies is sitting just a few feet apart enough?

Speaker 9: 15:01 Um, well, once again, uh, I'm assuming that people would be still wearing face coverings and then that, uh, the businesses that are going to be opening are ensuring that the appropriate distancing, physical distancing in addition to wearing face covering is going to occur. And so we have all seen, uh, you know, when, when we go to a store that we have to wait outside so that not too many people need to be in the store at the same time. And when we wait outside, we have a six foot distance. What the requirement is. If, if we are more distant than six feet, you don't need face coverings. But the point I want to make is that are we really measuring six feet? And what if it's, uh, you know, five feet and, and, you know, nearly six feet and what if it's six feet to show there's there's no, these are measures that, I mean, in my view, I want the most protection. So if I don't want to get sick, I am going to really follow these practices. And if I'm in the side, so I do not have the additional air flow that there is outside. I am still going to wear that mask. Right. So if I go to target, am I now taking away my mask when I'm in target? Because I'm not, I'm further than six feet from other people, probably not. Right. I still want to protect others from whatever cough I may have. And so the same is at the movie.

Speaker 8: 17:10 So perhaps older people need to follow stricter rules for themselves than younger ones.

Speaker 9: 17:16 Well, so, so you bring up a very good point, which is really if I'm older or if I'm old, or if I have a, an existing condition, uh, that will make me more at risk for having a bad forum, all of the illness, it doesn't, however, make me more at risk to contract this infection. It just makes that if I have these, these preexisting conditions, or if I'm older, if I happen to get the disease, then I'm, I'm at higher risk of complications. Right? And so therein lies the rub, right? So if, if I think if I am in, in that risk category, then it is to my advantage to protect myself. And you will notice that a lot of individuals do wear face coverings, uh, to do that, whether they are six feet or less. Right. And so I would argue that that is probably a good thing to do, not so much to protect me, uh, to decrease my chance it's to decrease my chance of acquiring an infection, but not because I'm at higher risk of acquiring the infection. It's a subset or difference.

Speaker 8: 18:55 Local public officials have said that they've seen some outbreaks connected to home gatherings, you know, private gatherings at home. Is it safe to gather in a backyard with your friends, if you're all wearing masks and sitting six feet apart?

Speaker 9: 19:08 I think that the more exchanges, the larger, the gathering, the larger the risk is because you just are not controlling everybody's movement. And so there's more chances of an interaction that is unprotected, but yes, you, uh, you can, um, if you are having a gathering, even if it's a, you know, less than 10 people, right? Like, uh, accounty, uh, um, has posed as a limit of people wear a mask. And I mean, then, then you, you kind of, you, you increase, you decrease the probability of getting infected, don't share food, you know, don't share the fork, don't share the same, uh, spoons, don't share the same glass, right. Uh, and wash your hands. I think that's the other finding, right? And people who wash their hands frequently, they is, uh, about, uh, 20 to 30% decrease in acquiring infection.

Speaker 8: 20:25 What about pools going to swim in a public pool? What are the risks there and how can we avoid them?

Speaker 9: 20:32 I think that you mean the swimming, swimming, swimming. I think that the water is probably chlorinated and, uh, and the risk is really more, uh, in, in areas where you have when you're not in, in, um, so an possibly an inside pool may be a little bit more risky than an outside pool, but I think once you're in the water, um, there's probably some chlorination and, and that may be headed for, I mean, I think there's always more risk than, than not going to the pool. Right. But you have to, you have to measure the, the risks accordingly

Speaker 8: 21:23 weigh the risks, but it's in the air rather than the water. And, and, uh, another question that we're hearing quite a bit from our listeners is why libraries are not reopening. Uh, is there any additional risks that a library may present when many other facilities are opening?

Speaker 9: 21:40 When I would think that a library you'd spend more time in the library and that, um, the risk is more, that that library is, is a closed environment. And so the question is whether the library feels that you have enough staff to, uh, control that the proper measures are being followed. And, um, you know, it may not be yet time to open libraries where less, you know, you, there's basically more exposure because of the length of time you may spend in an ivory.

Speaker 8: 22:34 Right. Right. So let's talk about the, the, the numbers that we're seeing. Um, some areas of the state are seeing rising hospitalization rates in recent weeks. I mean, in, in San Diego, we haven't hit triggers. That would move us back into lockdown, but in Sacramento hospitalizations quadrupled over two weeks, how concerned are you, uh, about spikes like these coming?

Speaker 9: 22:59 I think that that's a risk. I think that it will be very hard. Two. We have to be very careful of, of, of monitoring this and sending out, um, information to the population when, when we, uh, feel, uh, when we see that numbers are not going in the right way. I think that continued, uh, education of the population and particularly, uh, the ones who are at Taya risk of complications that, uh, they, they should be wearing face covering that they should be doing social distancing and, uh, that, um, they should be allowed to get tested if they present with certain symptoms. Uh, the prompt, uh, um, case finding and contact tracing, uh, by the public health departments is essential in, in really decreasing the number of transmissions in the community. And therefore by that, you know, keeping those numbers down. But I think you need a very, very strong public health system and, and a testing strategy that I think, you know, we, I, I, I think we have, uh, we, we are getting better, uh, towards that in San Diego County. So I think we have, we have our authorities looking at, um, the numbers conversing with the hospitals on a, a weekly, if not daily basis and, uh, really monitoring the changes very carefully.

Speaker 8: 25:14 So scripts, scripts, hell, stop taking new cover transfers to preserve bed space, you know, for local patients is UC San Diego preparing for a possible spike.

Speaker 9: 25:25 We've been stable. Uh, I it's it's, I mean, this is a script's health, um, close to, um, additional transfers from the East County, uh, not from taking patients from the community. They simply could not afford to, could not, did not have enough capacity to accept for the transfers from these County. Uh, we'll all, all of the hospitals are meeting on a regular basis and, uh, you know, they are discussing with the County what their status is. And I think that, that, that is important. So we were worried fairly, uh, all hospitals are worried as the community and the County is worried, but we're watching it very carefully. And each hospital will have to adapt to their own capacity. Right.

Speaker 8: 26:27 Right now, in regards to asymptomatic detections in San Diego County, uh, public health officials said yesterday that 10% of local positive results are from individuals who are asymptomatic. Is that what you would expect?

Speaker 9: 26:46 Um, I think that they are huge health systems that, um, test, um, only so a lot of healthcare systems and also testing units in the County are testing, um, symptomatic patients and the range of symptoms has widened, right? So about two weeks ago, uh, other symptoms were added, uh, to the list of symptoms by the CDC and therefore our screaming, um, for symptoms. And then our testing strategy has, has loosened a little bit, meaning that we're testing people with, with less, uh, CVS symptoms on, at the same time, we certainly have expanded our testing of patients coming into the hospital. Uh, Amy patient, who's coming in to the hospital, regardless of COBIT related symptoms, patients who are undergoing surgeries or procedures, and therefore with testing more asymptomatic patients. So I, I think that that number may vary, but, but I think it sounds, it sounds, um, it seems to me that it's a reasonable number, but as I say, because of the difference in, in how we screen patients and, and decide whether a patient has symptoms has Corbett symptoms that that has led to more testing of patients with less symptoms and also right, as parts of the region continue to open, what will you be looking out for specifically?

Speaker 9: 28:58 I will be looking at, uh, the rates of positivity. Um, the number of patients admitted to the hospitals. Uh, and so how, uh, capacity healthcare capacity is being tested. And, um, clearly, uh, the number of deaths due to COVID in the County. So I'll be watching at our numbers very carefully, our numbers South of us and our numbers East of us, um, and how we can help these regions, uh, uh, you know, um, respond to their needs because what happens in Tijuana or what happens in South Bay or what happens in East Bay will affect us. And so the more we can help them the better, uh, everybody will be. Well, doctor, thank you so much. You're welcome. Very welcome. And thank you

Speaker 2: 30:18 along with hot, dry Santa Ana conditions across San Diego County. This week, we've had a spate of small brush fires flare up. It's a reminder as if we needed one that wildfire season is here earlier than normal this year. And that's a bigger challenge than ever in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Joining me to discuss the compounded challenge this summer and fall is Sean Mahoney, regional chief executive officer for the American red cross and Southern California. Sean, welcome. Thanks for having me well, these hot and windy conditions smoke in the air today. Have many of us on edge start with the red cross plan, the preparations that are already in place this time of year, as we all prepare for the possibility of wildfires

Speaker 10: 31:00 this weekend with the winds and the heat we've had it, it is a, uh, a reminder that disasters don't stop in a pandemic. So we have created new protocols to make sure that we're keeping everybody safe, uh, really concerned about the safety of our ears in the community. So we've adjusted how we're going to, uh, do sheltering and feeding, uh, and how we're going to interact with them when we have to evacuate from their home. Typically when people have to evacuate from a neighborhood, uh, they're sent by officials to emperor evacuation, uh, we've identified 37 locations throughout San Diego County that are covered parking areas. So they have the solar panels, uh, covering the parking spaces, uh, and that allows people to remain in their cars when they evacuate. And our service associates can provide them information and direct them push all you did, but they can, and their family and household in their vehicle. Okay.

Speaker 2: 31:59 And one of the big challenges I understand is you're just going to need a lot more shelters because we all have to continue to social distance, even though we're fleeing a wildfire.

Speaker 10: 32:09 Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, typically when the red cross shelters people, I'm not sure you've seen pictures of it. There'll be hundreds of people in a, in a high school gym or something like that with cots close to each other, making sure people have a safe and secure place to sleep. Um, that's not going to work in a coven environment. So if folks are at a temporary evacuation point waiting for information and they find out that they can't return to their home, a B will have to be flexible, might have to buy hotel rooms or style rooms or, uh, RV campgrounds, uh, or smaller shelters, uh, with under 50 people in 'em.

Speaker 2: 32:47 And where are you going to be able to come up with all these additional shelter places?

Speaker 10: 32:51 We had a couple hundred shelter locations, and those locations would be used if we, if we have enough people evacuating that we have to keep groups of 50 or smaller, if we use those locations, we'll have screening protocols on. When people enter the shelter have enhanced cleaning, will space cots much further than normal by mass, things like that. Uh, we also have ELL rooms identified that we can use, uh, if it's a smaller number of people evacuated, and we would direct people with hotels and half red cross associates at the hotel,

Speaker 2: 33:27 sounds to me like you're going to need more help more volunteers than ever in a normal year because of this pandemic.

Speaker 10: 33:34 Yes, it's, it's, uh, it's a lot more, um, manpower to have multiple locations to serve people when, when you're up them. Um, it does take our whole team incredible long years here in San Diego County, we have over 2000 volunteers, um, and they'd been trained in advance to do sheltering and become shelter associates or shelter supervisors or managers or feeding managers. But, uh, we always welcome, uh, outstanding volunteers.

Speaker 2: 34:03 And, uh, what challenges does this present in terms of getting enough food and water and other supplies to those people in shelters?

Speaker 10: 34:10 It's going to be more difficult to make sure people have, uh, a meal, you know, get the roof over their head. Of course you will provide that as we always do in our mission, we normally do cafeteria style being at a large shelter. That's not going to work in this environment either. So it was more individual delivery of meals to people, either in a hotel room or nurse they're spaced out area within a smaller shelter.

Speaker 2: 34:39 And what about medical personnel and equipment at shelters? It seems anyone with respiratory problems already are going to be in further trouble with heavy smoke in the air.

Speaker 10: 34:47 We'll make sure that we can meet people's needs. And we have men as partners in San Diego County with the County with other nonprofits and a medical facility. So we'll make sure we can meet, uh, every individual's needs on what might be the worst day of their life.

Speaker 2: 35:04 And we've had extensive publicity of course, about the problems getting personal protective equipment masks and gowns and gloves ventilators during this pen dynamic generally, how are we stocked now as the red cross been securing PPEs on your own?

Speaker 10: 35:18 Uh, we have a supply of DPE that we use for our disaster responders, that man, that staff the shelters and, and, and provide seating services. And we have, we have those available at adequate PP right now.

Speaker 2: 35:30 And what about testing? Will shelters have testing capacity for the coronavirus?

Speaker 10: 35:35 We don't anticipate testing the shelters. We would be referring, uh, individuals who are nurse. So we keep someone right in the County emergency operations center. We have a representative there during a disaster like this and any kind of, uh, special needs like that, or advanced protocols and lean on our partners and ask for consent.

Speaker 2: 35:55 Now, it sounds like this will add up to more costs for the red cross. Is that right? How are you going to pay for all of this?

Speaker 10: 36:00 Well, certainly be more costly. Normally when we provide a shelter for folks it's through a community partner and it's a available us at no cost, but hotel rooms cost thousands and thousands more for us. We're running a June fundraising campaign and people can help the red cross stop. Or of course, when disaster strikes, we'll also make an appeal to the uni to help them or helping their neighbors.

Speaker 2: 36:24 And I imagine you're working with the County and other agencies to coordinate all this with, with an eye toward the pandemic and the challenges we're talking about.

Speaker 10: 36:32 We are working very closely with our partners at the County. San Diego is a, is a excellent, uh, County for cooperation and leadership that the County office of emergency services does a terrific job planning for disasters ranked to get partners. And we all work together very well.

Speaker 2: 36:47 And let's turn to a preparations by individuals. What does the red cross recommend? We all do to prepare in the event, our homes are threatened by a wildfire,

Speaker 10: 36:55 really need to be prepared for wildfire. I mean, we're in an at risk area and we recommend people have a plan. So that starts with just knowing where you're going to meet your family members. If you have a home fire or broader wildfire approaching your home, people should also have a kit. They should have to get through the next few days, water food, some clothing, uh, other supplies, flashlights, other, other items like that, and then stay informed by listening to the news and, uh, and make sure you know where the threat is.

Speaker 2: 37:27 What's the website where listeners can go to get more information about preparing for a possible wildfire.

Speaker 10: 37:32 There's more information available, prepared San Diego dot or bought a resources there. And it's a great place.

Speaker 2: 37:40 Well, I've been speaking with Sean Mahoney, regional chief executive officer for the American red cross Southern California region. Thanks very much, Sean.

Speaker 10: 37:49 Thank you, Mark. Appreciate it.

Speaker 7: 38:02 [inaudible]

Speaker 8: 38:05 we've talked a lot on Medea edition about what needs to change. So tragedies, like what happened to George Floyd? Stop happening. It's not just about changing police practices, but also about examining our own private biases and teaching our children about racism and bias. What are schools doing to raise self-awareness the most common program in San Diego County schools is called no place for hate offered free by the San Diego chapter of the anti defamation league. And joining me now is Kelsey Greenberg young who's education for the anti defamation league. Thanks for joining us, Kelsey, thank you for having me and Mariana. Eakins graduating senior from power unified who helped organize a no place for hate conference earlier this year. Thank you, Mariana. No problem. It's a pleasure being here. So let me start with you Mariana. You are African American and there are only a few dozen African Americans in Poway schools. What's it like for you being in the minority in your school?

Speaker 6: 39:01 Um, it's definitely interesting. Um, being surrounded by people who don't always look like me, there's not that much representation. So growing up, I did have a little bit of a conflict with my own identity at times, but it's a great way to gain perspectives as well as educate others on my importance. And my culture is important in our school and our school districts and in the world.

Speaker 8: 39:24 Have you been following the news much in the, in the past month or so? What's been your reaction? Um, my mom

Speaker 6: 39:30 and I have had a very emotional reaction to everything going on. Um, it's not the first time an incident like this has happened. I was, I think, 10 years old when this was Trayvon Martin all over the news. So, um, it's definitely been a struggle again, but you know, racism has never gone away. It's just being recorded on a larger scale.

Speaker 8: 39:49 You helped to organize this no place for hate program and your school districts. It was organized by seniors for middle and elementary students. Why did you decide to get involved in this? And, and what did you think worked about this conference?

Speaker 6: 40:02 We got involved in educating elementary school and middle school students because the earlier students are able to learn about other's backgrounds and their differences. I think the more willing and eager they are to learn more about their cultures growing up, instead of, you know, getting to a point now where it's all over the news and they have to ask their parents, Hey, what does this mean when their parents might not have those answers? So I'm very proud that we were able to do that. Um, and work with these young kids.

Speaker 8: 40:30 Kelsey, I wanted to ask you if a school signs up to be a no place for hate school. What does that actually mean? I mean, what, what are you hoping will happen during a no place for hate event?

Speaker 11: 40:39 What happens is a school agrees to partner with the ADL? Uh, they partner with us to use a framework that is focused on challenging bias, challenging bullying, promoting respect and inclusion. Um, not just on one day or one week throughout the year, but multiple times throughout the year, not just sharing some information or plopping on a video, but rather providing opportunities for discussion and reflection and to really crunch into these topics of bias, bigotry and prejudice and what these kids can do about it at an age appropriate level.

Speaker 8: 41:09 So I want to see if you can give us some specific examples, Mariana, from your conference of things that you thought really worked, where something actually got through to students and things changed.

Speaker 6: 41:21 It wasn't just based on like race. We also tackled economic disparities. We tackled prejudices for LGBTQ communities, and I feel like we went through scenarios that they would understand, like we said, like, you can't come eat lunch with us because you live in an apartment and I live in a big house, stuff like that. So I think making sure students can understand what we're saying by making it easy for them to understand is the best way to get the message through.

Speaker 8: 41:48 Was there anything that you felt that actually changed you being the organizer as well as them?

Speaker 6: 41:54 Oh, all the time I work with, um, kindergartners and first graders outside of school. So I learned new things every day and especially at the conference, how much they know already at their age baffles me. And I think that goes back to social media and technology nowadays. Cause we definitely underestimate these kids and how much they know. So a lot of the stuff they knew, but it's to know how to express the words for. And I feel like that's why our conference was just super important for them to understand what an ally is, how to support people who might not have the same privilege as they do and to speak up.

Speaker 8: 42:30 So Kelsey, we know that there are a lot of these programs that are organized by adults, but this one was organized by students. Do you think that makes a difference?

Speaker 11: 42:38 I think that makes a huge difference. One of the key components of no place for hate and being a no place for hate school is actually putting student leadership at the helm. We know that schools often want to do these things. They want to put on these events and teach these concepts. But they're coming from the top down from administrators or teachers, which is of course important, but we know that there is a substantial increase in the impact when it's coming peer to peer and specifically coming from older students to younger students as these role models in these situations.

Speaker 8: 43:09 That's right. I mean, parents obviously have the primary role to talk to their children about ways of being in the world. But why do you think it's important for schools to tackle the issue specifically? The issues raised by the death of George Floyd

Speaker 11: 43:22 kids spend eight hours a day at school. They spend eight hours a day at home and mixed in there. They're spending all this time with their friends. And so when you start tackling issues of bias and bigotry, inclusion and respect, um, from a variety of different stakeholders, the messages stick better. So part of no place for hate is actually asking the school to form a committee with the student leadership at the helm, but having staff, administrators, and parents as also part of the conversation so that all of those different perspectives and all of those different tools and all of those different opportunities for conversation, whether or not at school or at home are taken advantage of

Speaker 8: 43:59 Mariana, you know, power is pretty affluent San Diego suburb. Do you think that programs like no place for hate are effective or even being practiced in other parts of San Diego, for example, you know, inner city areas where there's much more racial diversity? Absolutely.

Speaker 6: 44:14 I think that no matter if we're in the suburbs, the inner city racism is everywhere. Bias is everywhere. And I feel like it's just a great platform for the ADL to just expand their message of love and inclusivity.

Speaker 8: 44:28 Do you think there's anything else that schools can be doing to people being hateful toward each other?

Speaker 6: 44:34 I feel like if there was more representation on campus, um, that's a big one as well as more counselors for students to go to. Um, I know my school just got one of their first African-American staff members and it's already made a world of a difference on our campus. Um, and I also think that the ADL has a whole database full of lessons for no place right on their website.

Speaker 8: 44:54 Kelsey, how many schools in San Diego County actually participate in, in the no place for hate program

Speaker 11: 45:00 here we had over 76 schools designated they showed the commitment to continue this work, even when it was hard. Many of those schools actually completed their final activities, their final anti-biased and anti-bullying activities on through distance learning and thinking about not only the racism and the conversations around the black community right now, within the past three months, we saw, um, issues of bias, uh, against the Asian American community that would needed to be addressed. And so of those schools, many of them chose to tackle those issues as well.

Speaker 8: 45:33 I don't know whether you've noticed that some schools are finding it hard to fit in this kind of training when they're having to meet, you know, reading, writing and arithmetic standards.

Speaker 11: 45:42 As Mariana mentioned, um, a lot of the no place for hate resources, the ADL provides are actually lesson plans that can be embedded directly into the classroom. Uh, they use writing standards, reading standards, et cetera, through the common core standard curriculum to make sure that these don't have to be separate conversations, but rather can be part of the school fiber of their curriculum. And I'll share that, um, we opened up no place for hate registration for next year already. And we've already seen, um, a third of the schools who were a part of it last year, uh, already reregister. So they know that no matter how hard it might be, no matter what budget cuts might be, that these topics are too important to let go. Um, and we'll expect to see probably a big increase this year rather than less.

Speaker 8: 46:26 So what else do you think that schools can be doing to improve the situation we're facing right now? I think

Speaker 11: 46:32 schools can be tackling these concepts at a much earlier age and working together on them. Um, as Marianna shared about the conference that her and her fellow students put on earlier this year, kids actually know a lot more than we give them credit for. We don't need to wait until they're 12, 13, 14, 15 to talk about bias, prejudice, racism, and other forms of bigotry. We can be talking about it with them when they're in preschool and kindergarten, we know bias is formed throughout our lives. And so the earlier we start having these conversations, the more good we can do. And when schools work together with their theater schools, elementary schools, with the middle schools and the middle schools at the high schools, there can be a continuous message through that entire, that child's entire school career rather than it being fragmented. So I'd love to see it start earlier and I'd love to see a continuation from school to school, to school.

Speaker 6: 47:22 I would also like to add that I think school should also be educating students on not just one history America has. Um, I feel like we don't learn enough about native Americans, LGBTQ. Um, the only history I learned about my own culture is slavery. When there's so much more we have to offer. Um, and I know that starts from the top and I feel like more education that's positive about the minorities and everything else instead of just, you know, the white male culture of America would be a huge impact on students. We've been speaking with Kelsey Greenberg, young who's education director for the anti defamation league and Mariana Akins, who is graduating senior from power unified. Thank you both so much for being with us. Thank you so much for having us. Thank you. It's really been my pleasure.

Speaker 12: 48:13 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 48:22 frontline healthcare workers are at risk of burning out from the stress of taking care of patients sick with COVID-19 KQBD arts and culture reporter. Chloe Veltman brings us the story now of one California nurse practitioner. Who's figured out some creative ways to try and nurture herself and the people around her

Speaker 13: 48:41 most days after work and on the weekends, Aminay, Mogadon heads out into nature,

Speaker 14: 48:46 walking and hiking for our family. That's our biggest joy.

Speaker 13: 48:50 She lives in Benicia along the San Francisco Bay and lately she started bringing a camera along on her, walks down to the waterfront.

Speaker 14: 49:00 I'm an ice snaps pictures of whatever catches her interest, flowers, graves, birds. She admits she's not much of a photographer. When I see the actual nature, I feel like it's going to be that beautiful in the picture. But then I look at the picture. It's like, Oh my God, this is nothing like what is actually outside, but snapping away and then posting her favorite photos on social media is one thing that's helping this nurse practitioner get through her day. Since this call it, think I'm paying more attention to the beauty of the nature. I feel like the sky is more blue. All of this,

Speaker 13: 49:34 just in stark contrast to Amanay's working life right now, she's spending a chunk of it in a sweaty tent, sticking swabs up people's noses.

Speaker 14: 49:43 I'm going to put this blob inside your nose for 20 seconds. You can do it. You can do it.

Speaker 13: 49:49 I'm an, a kindly made this recording during one of her recent shifts, testing people for the COVID-19 virus.

Speaker 14: 49:55 So put your head back and relax. You can let it uncover your motto poverty.

Speaker 13: 50:03 I'm an, I usually works in primary care and cardiology at Contra Costa regional medical center as a little girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution. And I learned from her mom about the importance of looking out for others.

Speaker 14: 50:15 My mom was very involved in helping the soldiers, helping everybody. So it's kind of like in situations like that, you feel like you have to go help.

Speaker 13: 50:25 I'm an, I spent her early career as a nurse, helping soldiers who'd returned with PTSD from the war in Afghanistan. She's used to dealing with human suffering, but this pandemic is really scary for her.

Speaker 14: 50:38 Whenever I swap. And the test comes positive. You this later something in my heart drops,

Speaker 13: 50:45 we're just starting to get a sense of the psychological impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers in a recent survey of more than 1,800 nurses and doctors in China around 40% of the respondents said they were suffering from anxiety or insomnia. Aminay has also struggled.

Speaker 14: 51:02 And I sort of having this really, really bad nightmares.

Speaker 13: 51:06 Her sister in law, in Iran suggested she writes down whatever's on her mind. So recently I'm an, I started keeping a journal. Sometimes she writes about her patients.

Speaker 14: 51:17 Sure. Dave was a hard day. I called ms. Garcia. She told me she was feeling really dizzy. She said food ran out two days ago. I ended up delivering food for her, sitting down with her and listening to her for a while.

Speaker 13: 51:33 At other times, she fills the pages with thoughts about another one of her new passions baking

Speaker 14: 51:38 yesterday. I made strawberry banana cheesecake. My son, he like moist chocolate cakes. I make that last week.

Speaker 13: 51:46 I'm an nice college age. Son Carvey says when his mom comes home from a hard day at the hospital, she doesn't lie on the couch or watch TV. She had straight to the kitchen and starts cooking.

Speaker 10: 51:57 It's a way for her to let go and release all her stress and anxiety and put it in something that she's very passionate about. And that she's very good at.

Speaker 13: 52:07 I'm an, I routinely brings her homemade dishes to the Islamic cultural center of Northern California in Oakland. She's active in the center's program to feed local homeless.

Speaker 15: 52:17 Hi everybody. Hello Tom. Happy Ramadan. So you're here for the food collection. How many meals you have today? Um, is it 200? I think

Speaker 13: 52:32 she plans to continue to make food for her community as well as take more nature pictures and Chronicle her experiences in her journal.

Speaker 14: 52:39 A lot of sad and unfortunate things have been going on, but honestly, I, I really try to focus on the good things. Otherwise, it's very hard for me to leave.

Speaker 13: 52:50 She says those good things will carry her through whatever the future brings that story from KQBD and culture reporter, Chloe Beltman.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.