San Diego

Long Wait for Special Ed. Teacher at Eastlake HS Upsets Parents

It’s been about a month since the school year began, and special education students at East Lake High School in Chula Vista just got a new teacher.

The credentialed special education teacher was hired this week. But before that, some parents claimed there have been serious safety issues for their children with special needs.

Parents of special education students spoke to the school board of the Sweetwater Union High School District on August 12. The school district, which has been marred in financial trouble, said the problem is not a funding issue, but a staffing issue.

The SUHSD said based on changing student enrollment and needs, staffing had to be adjusted. The district said it is still working on those adjustments.

Another parent at the board meeting complained about their student having substitute teachers for weeks.

Parents said the lack of a credentialed teacher and support is causing trouble in the overcrowded classroom, which in turn jeopardized student safety. One parent was so upset, he called the Chula Vista Police Department after an incident in the classroom.

That parent did not want to be identified but said he called police because the district did nothing after two reports of trouble were made days earlier.

Chula Vista police confirmed they responded to a call on July 26. According to a report, a special education student had flipped over a desk and had an outburst. Other students left the classroom until the situation was calm. Police say that is the protocol.

Chula Vista Police went back to the school three days later to meet with all parties involved. There was no crime and no one was injured.

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