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Grossmont trustees hold off on revoking Helix High charter
By Maureen Magee, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 8, 2010
LA MESA — Helix High School has put off charter revocation — at least for a while.
The Grossmont Union High School District has postponed today’s charter revocation hearing to give a new Helix board of trustees a chance to address its growing concerns about the campus’s leadership.
The Grossmont school board voted in February to begin proceedings to rescind Helix High’s charter after an assistant principal violated a conduct code by helping a troubled student leave the state to visit her grandmother. The administrator was eventually fired and the student was not harmed, but the district claims that the school mishandled the situation and failed to promptly report suspicions of misconduct to authorities.
The incident came after four Helix teachers were convicted of sex crimes against students during an 18-month period. The series of scandals nearly cost the school its charter last year, when revocation hearings were scheduled and eventually canceled.
“We have very legitimate concerns about the safety of kids at Helix,” said district spokeswoman Catherine Martin, who declined to say what the school could do to keep its charter. “If and when those issues are resolved, then we will speak publicly (about it).”
Under an agreement reached to preserve the Helix charter after the sex scandals, the school imposed a strict employee-student conduct code. It also agreed to reconstitute its nine-member board of trustees to include fewer employees.
With three new Helix trustees taking office this week, the reconstituted board has “reached out to the district to open up new avenues of communication and resolution,” Grossmont district officials said in a statement released yesterday...