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LAUSD, Teachers Reach Deal On In-Person Assessments, Tutoring For Special Ed Students

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

While schools in Los Angeles County generally have to remain closed, there are a few exceptions — like supporting students who struggle the most with distance learning.

Now, the L.A. Unified School District and the teachers’ union have agreed on how to provide some in-person services to students on campus — including one-on-one tutoring, one-on-one assessments for students with special needs and students learning English, and some in-person adult education classes.

Under the agreements, which were signed Thursday, teachers cannot be forced to participate. Those who choose to — and their students — will have to get tested for COVID-19 first.

United Teachers Los Angeles had previously expressed concerns over the district’s safety plans, but in a Friday morning update, UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz announced the agreement:

“We are gratified that we could reach an agreement that supports our most vulnerable students and follows best practices to uphold the health and safety of our school communities."

The one-on-one tutoring will be offered in 50-minute sessions and is intended “to mitigate the effects of school closures,” according to a district spokesperson.

More than 140 LAUSD schools have indicated they intend to provide some in-person services for students with special needs and English language learners.



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Adelanto Has Largest Current COVID-19 Outbreak Among ICE Detention Centers In the Country

A U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement official walks into the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The coronavirus outbreak at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino County has continued to grow. As of this morning there were 147 immigrant detainees being monitored or in isolation with COVID-19, all of them having tested positive.

The outbreak is now the largest active outbreak among immigration detention centers across the country, according to data posted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The facility currently holds about 750 people, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Between Sept. 14 and last Tuesday afternoon, 16 Adelanto detainees had been hospitalized due to COVID-19 related reasons, according to a court filing by Gabriel Valdez, assistant field office director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Los Angeles. Eleven of those detainees have been discharged from the hospital.

Thirty-one staff members had also tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, but none had been hospitalized, Valdez said.

In April, the ACLU sued the federal government to reduce the population at the detention center to allow for social distancing. The case had been pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but was sent back to the lower court amid the growing outbreak.

On Sept. 29, U.S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter ordered ICE to not accept any new or transferred detainees at the facility.

Hatter also ordered the government to test all detainees who agree to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis, and to submit a population reduction plan for the facility.

According to the Judge’s order, the outbreak likely started in early September, and medical experts in the case believe the outbreak was “most likely” caused by a staff member who went into work at Adelanto with a COVID-19 infection.

But because contact tracing hadn’t been complete, the source of the outbreak hasn’t been identified yet, Judge Hatter wrote.

ICE detention centers around the country have been hit hard by COVID-19. In May, a 57-year-old man from El Salvador held at a detention center in San Diego became the first ICE detainee to die from the virus.


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How A Suburban White Kid Lost His Heroes But Gained A Friend

(Illustration by Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Brian Frank, one of our own here at LAist, grew up happy to inhabit an America infused with the Hollywood myths of good versus evil. His childhood looked conspicuously like the suburban idyll from Spielberg's classic E.T.

But when a close friend who is Latino was beaten by police, he was forced to challenge his own assumptions and take another hard look at the casual racism that was there all along, and how it in a way shaped him. He writes:

It turns out the suburban idyll is full of mean kids and casual racists.

Growing up, I would hear a relative call a football player on TV the N-word, modified by "stupid," for dropping the ball. When I called them out, I was told "there are white n——s, too" — the implication being that the word could be neatly divorced from its racist roots. It was gaslighting, of course: I never heard the term used against one of the white players.

And then there were the kids, ruthless as kids can be. This was San Diego County in the '80s and early '90s at the height of a historic wave of immigration from south of the border. The anti-Latino slurs my friends used were thrown around so casually as to be commonplace — even though at least one of our schoolboy crew was Mexican American.

This is the story of Brian, who believed in heroes, learning to confront injustice in the real world. But as he'll tell you, it's really the story of his friend.



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Catch Up On Last Night's Los Angeles DA Debate


The future of L.A.'s criminal justice system was presented in stark terms Thursday night by the candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney.

Challenger George Gascón promised a much-needed leap in the direction of 21st-Century prosecutorial reforms. Incumbent Jackie Lacey, meanwhile, warned of the dangers of rapid transformation and pledged to continue pursuing reasonable improvements. The candidates met in a debate co-sponsored by KPCC/LAist and the L.A. Times.

"The difference between [D.A.] Lacey and I, is that I continue to learn and evolve," Gascón said during a discussion about gang enhancements

"He wants to leave residents helpless," Lacey countered in an exchange highlighting the central themes of these rival campaigns.


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Morning Briefing: Fighting Back Against Anti-Asian Crime

An illustrated letter by Tracy Park, created as an outlet for her feelings around an encounter with an anti-Asian racist. (Tracy Park)

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

Good morning, L.A.

As politicians on the right – including President Trump – continue to blame the coronavirus on Asian countries and people, incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes are spiking in America. Los Angeles is no exception, and one such incident has inspired two women to push back and work to make communities safer for their families and friends.

My colleague Josie Huang has the story of Esther Lim and Hong Lee, who met online after Lee posted the details of a racist verbal assault she suffered. Lim had been making and distributing booklets designed to help older people navigate racist encounters when she read about Lee’s experience, and now the two encourage one another to keep speaking out against bigotry.

Lee, uncomfortable talking about her assault at first, has begun telling her story publicly in order to shed light on the issue.

And after hearing that the first LAPD officer who responded to Lee didn’t file a report because, according to her, he said “there’s no crime here,” Lim was inspired to connect Lee with a different officer – who in turn has promoted better training for law enforcement.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, October 9

Brian Frank examines lessons learned about systemic racism, and how easily we accept it, after a friend's encounter with police, and how "our heroes got us into this."

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Fighting For Equality: Several grassroots efforts to curb anti-Asian bias and violence have emerged in L.A. -- all started by Asian American women. A new UCLA report on the financial implications of creating films with diverse casts and stories focuses on a metric researchers are calling Authentically Inclusive Representation (AIR).

No Rain: It looks like the dry weather pattern known as La Niña is all but certain, with models from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting an 85% chance that it’ll last through our winter.

Some Personal News: The LAist/KPCC investigative reporting project Stuck has won two Online Journalism Awards from the Online News Association.

Coronavirus In L.A.: New numbers from health officials show that more than 30% of people with COVID-19 in L.A. County are still not participating in contact tracing.

Here’s What To Do: Need a laugh? Head to two virtual comedy festivals. Looking for a scare? Roll up to these Halloween-themed drive-in flicks. Want to sweat? Lace up for a virtual run. They’re all in this week’s best online and IRL events.

Photo Of The Day

As the Dodgers square off against the Padres in the National League Division Series, Dodger Stadium's parking lot is still being used as a COVID-19 testing site.

(Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)

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