Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Superintendent Julio Fonseca resigns from San Ysidro School District amid sexual harrassment and retaliation claims

The Julio Fonseca case is the tip of an iceberg. Unlike most scandals in schools, you're allowed to read about this one in the newspaper. The truly important stories are kept out of the newspaper.

Voters are usually allowed to find out something that is going on in a school district only when a single individual has a problem, such as John Collins in Poway. But sometimes you don't even find out much even when it appears that a single individual had a problem. For example, when Superintendent Dennis Doyle suddenly cleared out of his office in National School District, the reason was never revealed. The board claimed that it didn't even know that he had emptied his office and disappeared! I'm guessing there were more people than just Mr. Doyle who were compromised by unknown events at that time.

News outlets are very protective of the system of secrecy and silence that veils deeper problems in schools, or rather, that veils the actions of powerful people at higher levels of the education establishment. Voters are left ignorant of how school districts really work.

The Julio Fonseca case got full coverage because it only involves one expendable individual.

But bigger guys than Julio are still comfortably ensconced in bigger offices, such as San Diego County Office of Education, causing much bigger problems.

Why is La Prensa telling this story when it keeps other education stories under wraps?  La Prensa seems to have a very personal connection to this story. The employee fired by Julio has become COO of La Prensa.

San Ysidro Schools Superintendent Resigns Amid Harrassment Claim
September 2, 2017
By Eduardo Rueda – Investigative Reporter
La Prensa 

San Ysidro School District Superintendent Julio Fonseca resigned abruptly on Friday night after a four-hour closed-door Board meeting...
“The Board, by a vote of five to zero, accepted the resignation of the Superintendent effective immediately, in exchange for 18 months of compensation and release of all claims,” reported Board President Rosaleah Pallasigue. “Dr. Fonseca’s departure is based on a personal situation,” Pallasigue added. [Maura Larkins' comment: yeah, right.]
Fonseca is currently facing a civil lawsuit filed against him by San Diegans for Open Government alleging he unlawfully approved a $114,000 settlement payout in May 2016 to a former employee that had raised concerns about Fonseca’s relationship with a female district employee.
The terminated employee, Jose Enrique Gonzalez, claimed Fonseca confided in him in December 2015 that he was about to hire a woman he was dating. The following week, the District hired Alexis Rodriguez to be the director of the District’s before- and after-school programs.
Days later, Gonzalez raised the issue of the relationship with other District staff, and within weeks, he was terminated from his position at the District.
Although Gonzalez never filed a tort claim or a lawsuit against the District, the Board quickly approved a settlement agreement with him on April 15, 2016, granting him one year’s salary plus benefits.
After his termination, Gonzalez became the COO of La Prensa San Diego...

This story notwithstanding, voters don't really know what goes on behind closed doors at school districts.

The most important thing to districts is to present a calm, happy face to the world. They have a strict code of silence. The thing they hate most is publicity.  Employees are ordered not to talk to the media. It's not unlike police departments.

Rick Werlin, Asst. Supt. of Chula Vists ESD refused to investigate what happened at Castle Park Elementary in 2001 because it would have revealed criminal behavior by himself and others. He demanded that I be silent. He said I "needed to forget the past." He then demanded that I come back to work. I refused because I feared more harassment and intimidation since guilty parties were desperate to cover up wrongdoing.

About year later I filed suit and the board fired me at the next board meeting for refusing to come to work. Why didn't they fire me during the previous year when I wasn't coming to work? Obviously, they preferred not to fire me. But someone apparently advised them that it was the best response to my lawsuit.

Firing me was obviously illegal retaliation for filing suit.

The Union-Tribune and Voice of San Diego and La Prensa knew all about this case but they kept quiet. That's how much power school districts have.

News outlets prefer stories about teachers or administrators who are newsworthy but whose stories won't rock the system. When the wrongdoing goes higher, they usually keep quiet.

I believe Emily Alpert was fired from VOSD because she was investigating SDCOE. VOSD claimed that it let reporters write about whatever they wanted, but that ceased to be true at some point--and the change was not revealed to readers.

The UT and La Prensa fell all over themselves to report about the five teachers who were transferred out of Castle Park Elementary in 2004.

The teachers at the school had gone completely rogue, in large part thanks to the administration and school board that spent large amounts of tax dollars covering up illegal actions by teachers and administrators.

Naturally, the rogue teachers believed themselves to be in complete control of the school.

But the UT and La Prensa, even though they knew about the problems caused by these teachers, pretended that the Castle Park Five were innocent victims of administrators. In fact, the administrators were dupes and dopes who were led by the nose by power-hungry teachers. The instinct to cover up problems led the district to commit and cover up crimes.

This information is on my website.

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