Parents of students in San Diego County’s largest school district have a new place to go when issues, such as bullying or discrimination, arise.
The San Diego Unified School District will cut the ribbon on its Quality Assurance Office (QAO) at 10:30 a.m. Friday. The office is located at 4100 Normal St. Annex 10 in University Heights.
The new office is meant to streamline the process when parents and employees have questions, concerns and complaints, Superintendent Cindy Marten told NBC 7 News Today.
“We have 110,000 students, 14,000 employees. On any given day, something might not quite go right,” Marten said. “We want the public to know we have one number to call, one place to go. Any question you have, any concern you have about anything in public schools in San Diego Unified, the quality assurance office is there to help you navigate the large school district that we are.”
The QAO isn’t meant as a first defense, according to its website. Parents are asked to try to resolve the problem with the individuals involved and their child's school principal before bringing in the QAO.
Curbing bullying has been one of Marten’s platforms since becoming superintendent one year ago. She created an adult-on-child bullying task force in January after the Grand Jury determined the district did not have an effective away of investigating teacher bullying.
In July, the family of 14-year-old Matthew Burdette filed a lawsuit against the district. Matthew committed suicide in November 2013 after another student videotaped him in the restroom and posted it online. The teen’s family said school employees knew Matthew was being bullied because of the video, but did nothing to protect him. The school district would not comment because of the ongoing investigation.
Classes at SDUSD begin Sept. 2.