Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good news for Helix Charter High School; Not-so-good news for Josh Stepner

See all posts re Helix High.
See all posts re Josh Stepner.
See all posts for Grossmont Union High School District


Helix High's charter has been extended for five years. Jim Kelly and Daniel Shinoff did not succeed in bringing down the the school. They did succeed at adding drama to the lives of several of their targets. I was (and still am!) one of Daniel Shinoff's favorite targets, and I must say that he does make life interesting.


"In another incident that did not involve sexual conduct Helix teacher Josh Stepner was charged with a misdemeanor for helping a student get a bus ticket to leave town."

Helix High Charter Extended
Reported by: Sharon Chen

Helix Charter High School in La Mesa will get another chance to keep its charter.

The Grossmont Union High School District and Helix Charter High School Boards reached an agreement Friday morning.

The agreement calls for extending the Helix Charter for five years. It was also agreed principal Douglas Smith will retire at the end of June after 21 years with the school district.

Students expressed displeasure with the resignation of Smith, some calling it unnecessary...

Helix has had four sex scandals involving teachers and students during Smith's time as the school's executive director.

The school board had threatened to revoke the school’s charter because of the number of incidents.

In another incident that did not involve sexual conduct Helix teacher Josh Stepner was charged with a misdemeanor for helping a student get a bus ticket to leave town...

The school board issued the following statement:

"The parties have achieved a global settlement of all issues and the district board will renew Helix's Charter effective July 1st 2010. And after 21 years of successful service to Helix High school Dr. Doug Smith has acknowledged his resignation as Executive Director effective June 30, 2010. And in the acknowledgement of the many benefits of a healthy and collaborative relationship between the Grossmont Union High school District and the Helix Charter High School the parties hereby and fully commit and agree to abide by the following compact for positive relations to ensure an exemplary and model relationship which will be of significant benefit to both parties and more importantly the students that we serve." -- Brian Kick, President Helix Charter High School Board.


VUSD Attorneys Dan Shinoff, Jeffrey Morris and Carreli gloat that district doesn't have to pay even though girl was abused. Come on, guys. You don't even have an apology to offer to this woman? [See Shirk v. Vista Unified.] And yet Dan Shinoff claims to be upset about a teacher helping a student get to her grandmother's house?

From the website of the Stutz law firm:

In California Supreme Court Victory, Shinoff,
Sleeth, Carelli, Morris and Pate Save the Tort Claim
Act from Revival Statutes

In a precedent setting decision, the California
Supreme Court upheld the stricter time limitations
for alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse to file
suit against public entities. The reversal of the local
Court of Appeal, obtained by attorneys Dan
Shinoff, Jack Sleeth, Bill Pate, Jeff Morris and Paul
Carelli, all partners with the firm Stutz Artiano
Shinoff & Holtz, protects public entities from the so-
called “revival” statutes. As the name suggests, the
Legislature (under Gray Davis) passed the revival
statutes to revive really old claims, which normally
would have expired under statutes of limitation.
Revival statutes have been the vehicle for the
highly publicized clergy abuse claims against the
Catholic Diocese. This decision virtually eliminates
the ability to bring similar cases against
government entities. [Shirk v. Vista Unified Sch.
Dist. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 201, 164 P.3d 630]

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