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FROM THIS EPISODE

Rafe Esquith has been called "the most famous teacher in the world." Why has LA Unified pulled him out of the classroom? Esquith says he made a joke that was misunderstood, but the District will only say there are "more serious issues." Is it a case of over-reaction because of past embarrassments the District is trying to live down?

Also, the LA City Council has passed a crackdown on street encampments that opponents call criminalizing the homeless. We ask Councilman Gil Cedillo why he cast the only dissenting vote.

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney
Jenny Hamel

Is the Wrong Person in Teacher Jail? 12 MIN, 27 SEC

Rafe Esquith teaches fifth grade at LA Unified's Hobart Elementary School in Koreatown.  He's been profiled by PBS, CBS, Time and People.  The Washington Post has called him "the most famous teacher in the world." But he's been out of the classroom since April—relegated to what's called "teacher jail."  Zahira Torres is an investigative reporter covering education for the LA Times.

 

Statement from LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines regarding Rafe Esquith
June 19, 2015

"This is a very complex issue. While I respect that this teacher is extremely popular – and has been for some time – in the briefings that have been given to me, there are serious issues that go beyond the initial investigation.

The Los Angeles Unified School District will not be rushed to make a decision and will complete our investigation with the highest level of integrity. The safety and security of every District student will remain our number one priority."

Guests:
Zahira Torres, Los Angeles Times (@zahiratorres)
Mark Geragos, Geragos and Geragos (@markgeragos‎)
Brian Claypool, Claypool Law Firm (@Brian_Claypool)

More:
PBS' 'POV' feature on Esquith

LA Will Clear Homeless Encampments, Sieze Property 7 MIN, 30 SEC

Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council passed two ordinances making it easier for the LAPD to sweep up street encampments on Skid Row and in other parts of the city.  Instead of giving 72-hours notice before possessions are taken away, the police can seize property in just 24 hours.  The LA Times reports that the stage has been set for “the first major homeless sweeps in the city in decades.”  The only dissenting vote was cast by Gil Cedillo, whose district includes Highland Park, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights and parts of Koreatown.

Guests:
Gil Cedillo, Los Angeles City Council (@gilcedillocd1)

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