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Probe: June 29, 2001

June 29, 2001

QUESTION: As Southwest High seniors boarded the buses to go to "Grad Night" at Disneyland, they were searched for weapons, and illegal substances. The searchers found narcotics on one senior.

He was thrown off the bus and expelled from Southwest High.

They didn't follow the Central Union High School District policy to expel him for the drug offense. Instead, he was allowed to continue his education in the Central adult school and will receive a Southwest diploma.

This kid comes from an influential family.

It shows if your family is well off and you have the right skin color you can get away with anything. — Clean 2001 Grad, El Centro

Don't bet on it. That young lawbreaker missed Grad Night, his last two weeks as a high school senior and the graduation ceremony. How much punishment is enough?

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State law no longer permits automatic expulsion, said Central district Superintendent Richard Fragale.

Kids, just like adults, are entitled to "due process." They are entitled to expulsion hearings with no pre-determined outcome.

QUESTION: Why do parents send kids into stores and offices to do business? They send in the kids to pay bills, do photocopies, purchase items, etc. The parents may be sitting in the car.

They should take care of their own affairs, not have a 5-year-old proxy do it for them. There have been many times when we have to go outside and ask the parent what they want. — Merchant, Brawley

We can think of a lot of reasons for this. Perhaps Mom (or Dad) can't speak English or the parent has several smaller children in the car who can't be left alone.

Many times a 30-year-old mom, accompanied by a 10- or 12-year-old child, will come in to see us. The English-speaking child will translate for the Spanish-speaking mom.

We don't mind at all because we think the experience is good for the child, good for the mom and good for us.

When you're raising kids, the idea is not to give them a "happy" childhood but to teach them how to live in a grown-up world.

Parents today do everything for their kids but nobody needs them. Children do better when they live in a family that NEEDS everybody.

QUESTION: Is the Imperial Irrigation District a public entity? If so, why does it hold the bidding process privately? The bid openings for construction used to be advertised in the newspaper with a bid date, a time and location where bids would be opened so you could attend.

Now IID doesn't open the bids publicly. It tells you when the bids are due. If you call back after the deadline, it says the bids haven't been reviewed yet or even that it's waiting for one more bid.

You might know the result two weeks after the "bid date." What's going on? — Bidder, Imperial County

IID is a public agency but it operates under the water code, not the government code, according to IID spokeswoman Sue Giller.

However, IID is required to put out goods and services to bid. Only goods and services valued at more than $50,000 must come before the Board of Directors.

When you notify IID you want to bid on an IID project or service, you will get a bid packet that will tell you when and where the bids will be opened. The bid opening is public and you can watch.

If it doesn't work that way, let us know. But next time, be more specific so we can ask more specific questions.

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