San Diego Schools to Tackle Adult to Student Bullying Report

In a small room, with just about two dozen people, San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten addressed a Grand Jury report accusing the district of ignoring the problem of adult to student bullying.

The report released nearly two weeks ago concluded that the San Diego Unified School District doesn’t have a policy in place to address the issue but Marten and other administrators have said that's not true.

Judy Neufeld-Fernandez is one of nine parents who filed a complaint against the district. She said her child was bullied by a teacher.

"There is no true process for a parent to bring legitimate complaints forward where they will be treated seriously,” Neufeld-Fernandez said.

After the report, she is anxious to see what will be done.

On Thursday, Superintendent Marten asked a small advisory board to identity five or six people to create an even smaller focus group to discuss the Grand Jury investigation.

SDUSD trustee Kevin Beiser said the district does have a policy that allows the opportunity to raise concerns whenever there is any adult to child bullying that is investigated by the district, police and legal services.

Beiser said the civil grand jury didn't consult the district’s human resources or legal departments about the issue before releasing its report.

Marten wants parents to feel they can voice concerns about student safety.

"It's a matter of effective implementation of those policies,” Marten said.

“We have supports in place. I want to make sure the community knows where to turn to get that support,” she said.

Neufeld-Fernandez, who will be part of the superintendent’s focus group, believes there’s a need to change the culture of the district. “There is a difference between writing a policy and implementing it,” she said.

The district’s attorney and the superintendent have 90 days to respond to the Grand Jury report.

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