SCUSD officials explain cease and desist letter sent to teachers

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As its teachers complain about a cease and desist letter for their efforts to help kids with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sacramento City Unified School District is sharing more about why administrators were so concerned over what was being offered.

Monday, in a telephone press conference, union teachers in the district expressed outrage over what they called a letter threatening to sue them for giving technical support to students as all learning moves online.

District spokeswoman Tara Gallegos says the SCUSD had to act because a post on the union website offering help was confusing and falsely gave the impression that the assistance offered was authorized by the district.

According to Gallegos, the volunteers mentioned in the post who would be giving the support haven’t been vetted by the district and since the listing directed families to a non-district email, the district had no control over where student information was going or what it would be used for.

The district maintains that it has “not authorized our teachers to provide technical support to students through this SCTA Community Volunteer Program,”  but Gallegos also says “teachers have received training and are welcome to answer questions and provide technical support to their students.”

During a video press conference given by district leaders Monday, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar acknowledged that all of the Chromebooks he’s tried to acquire for kids to learn at home have not arrived.

The district has about 40,000 students and through a needs assessment determined 26,000 of that group were minus the required technology for distance learning.

Aguilar shared that only 12,000 Chromebooks had been handed out.

FOX40 reported on Monday that the district was down 19,000 of the devices it had hoped to start its distance learning program with. With 12,000 delivered to the 26,000 in need, only 14,000 are actually still waiting for a device.

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