Inland Empire School Dishes Out $15.7 Million in Sex Abuse Case Settlement, But Questions Remain About What Is Being Done To Protect Students

$15.7M dollars will be paid out to settle a sex abuse case against the Redlands Unified School District.  For full disclosure, two of my sons attended school in Redlands Unified and graduated from the district. Both attended without incidence, and I am a little shocked that this even happened to this degree in this district. It’s no a “struggling” district. The parents are fairly active.  Redlands is considered to be one of the nicer communities to live, work and attend school in here in the Inland Empire (about 60 miles of Los Angeles, midway to Palm Springs).

However, the district is also not without its scandals. There have been several times over the years that the district was found to have a higher than average use of heroin among students.  In 2007, it was heralded at low key initially, but later found to be a huge network of drug use and trafficking within the high schools. So it’s not that the district has not had previous bad press, but for the most part, it is considered a good district with good teachers. Having said that, it doesn’t really matter what district or community you live in and attend school, these ugly things happen pretty much everywhere!

The thing that makes this case even more disturbing is that it’s not an isolated incident. These are several cases in which children were irreparably abused, exploited, and damaged at the hands of a person in authority that they were supposed to trust. And again, these children are forced into the schools by law and not by will. Several parents had reported problems with some of these teacher predators. NOTHING was done! SO how are we going to hold this district and other districts accountable? Yes, the district is now paying a settlement to the families, but what about the unanswered questions? The main perpetrator was a Special Ed Teacher!  And where are these teachers now? Are they in prison? Are they teaching in another district? Because yes, that happens. I will sharing a piece soon called “Passing the Trash” which deals with the ongoing practice by school administrators to place “bad teachers” in other districts.

There are so many questions beyond the settlement, which many times carry a confidentiality clause with them. Parents have the right know!

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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