Timing Adds Challenges To Recent CUSD Communication - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Timing Adds Challenges To Recent CUSD Communication

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Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:59 pm

CUSD parents were the recipients of a combination of messages, relating to the same issue, from the School District and the Coronado Police Department last week.

At 1:01 pm on Tuesday, February 4, the Coronado Police Department released a Facebook post that stated: “On Friday night, the Police Department became aware of an inappropriate relationship between a part-time Coronado High School basketball coach and a female student. Detectives worked through the weekend investigating the case, and on Monday, Jordan Bucklew, Dec. 27, 1985, of Coronado, was arrested on suspicion of sex crimes with a minor and booked into San Diego County Jail. The investigation is ongoing. The Police Department is encouraging anyone with information about this case or any potential additional victims to call Detective Jade Gutzmer at 619-522-6458 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers www.sdcrimestoppers.org

On the same day, at approximately 1:26 pm, the Coronado Unified School District sent an email message (and automated phone call) to parents that stated: “The collective focus and priority of the Coronado Unified School District is teaching and learning while nurturing a safe and supportive environment for those within our shared community. Allegations have been made against a Coronado Unified School District staff member. The District takes such claims very seriously. When the allegations became known, the District followed policy and protocol including cooperation with Coronado Police Department to protect the safety and security of District students and staff. As this is a personnel related issue, the District has no further comment.”

The close timing of the two announcements led to many Coronado parents receiving the District announcement while not being aware of the statement from the Police Department. Some district parents expressed alarm and confusion relating to the message from the school district, with this stemming (in large part) from the non-specific nature of the communication which left many parents unclear as to the nature of the incident and the extent to which their children may have been affected (or would continue to be affected moving forward), but those items had been addressed in the CPD release.

There are many challenges that are present in the quest to stay timely with each communication effort, while at the same time respecting the myriad of issues relating to the legality, confidentiality and the propriety of any attempt to share important information with many different interested parties.

We reached out to the school district for comment on this issue, and the related communications over the past week.

The District offered the following response:

“When personnel and/or student-related issues arise it is the responsibility of CUSD to ensure the immediate safety of all members of our district community while limiting disruption to the learning environment. We are fortunate to have such a strong partnership working in collaboration with the Coronado Police Department to support our efforts as we navigate sensitive discipline issues, whether staff or student related. Confidentiality rights for our students and staff limit our ability to provide the level of detail that our community may desire. Additionally, working in concert with law enforcement, we strive to make certain that our communications will not compromise an investigation, which is essential to gathering information so that we can take action based on facts and the law. As a school district, we must adhere to these requirements. Other agencies may have different requirements on what may/may not be permissible for release. We continue to look critically at our systems of communication for improvements; while we may not be able to provide all pertinent information requested by shareholders, we are committed to providing accurate and timely information to those within our community who may be impacted by an incident. Please trust that our number one priority is on the immediate safety of our students and staff.”

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