HELIX HIGH SCHOOL – The Superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District has issued a public letter to set the stage for the next development in the challenges being faced by Helix High School.
The letter from Robert J. Collins outlines the district’s position in advance of a public hearing in which Helix High, a charter school that operates autonomously within the Grossmont Union district, could face having the district revoke its support for the charter that allows Helix to operate independently. The Grossmont district’s board has questioned whether a series of scandals at Helix High involving teachers and administrators raises questions about the safety and security of the Helix High.
“As a charter authorizer, the GUHSD Board has an oversight responsibility for the safety and well-being of students at all of the charter schools it authorizes,’’ Collins letter says. Collins then goes on to outline what he described as slow or incomplete response by the Helix administration to requests for information on a number of incidents at the school.
Helix High was hit by a string of incidents involving sexual misconduct between teachers, staff and students. Four teachers were convicted of sex crimes involving students between December 2006 and September 2008. Most recently, a Helix administrator, Collins’ letter outlines, was investigated and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in an incident in which the administrator facilitated “a 16 year old girl traveling alone on a bus from San Diego to Oregon without guardian or parental permission.’’
Helix officials have described the incident as being investigated as a possible “mishandling’’ of a “runaway’’ incident and the administrator was put on leave while the investigation continues. Helix supporters have been critical of the GUHSD Board, saying its threat to revoke Helix’ charter is motivated by its desire to gain control of the school’s finances.
Collins’ letter denies the financial motivation; his full text is attached here: Helix Open Letter.pdf