The BIG Chill- A Witch Hunt by Salem Sanchez and the Attempted Destruction of Desegregation

To: The Tucson Community- 17th Open Letter
From:  Whistleblowers– Comprised of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

Subject:  The BIG Chill- A Witch Hunt by Salem Sanchez and the Attempted Destruction of Desegregation

Salem Sanchez Sets Witch Hunt in Motion

Simply put- we are outraged.

Retaliation in TUSD has become so second nature that there was no restraint shown by Hot Tempered Sanchez and his vengeful Board majority in going after Mike Hicks for writing a minority opinion to the Court about how the magnet issue has been mismanaged by the Sinister Sanchez Crew. Mike Hicks said in his letter that his opinion would never see the light of day except for his going directly to the Court with it. It is clear from the correspondence that Hicks has presented to the Court that shortly after he submitted his first letter, he was threatened by TUSD outside legal counsel from Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, P.L.L.C. that a recommendation would be made to conduct an investigation. Eventually, it sounds as though Julie Tolleson, Chief Legal Counsel, informed him that he was being investigated, which is code for ‘Mike Hicks- we are coming for you! You will have to give your sources up so that we can then go after them!’ This sends a chilling message to our community. The first link below provides a full copy of the letter from M. Hicks to the Court. The second is an article about the contents of the letter.

Sure, an investigation is needed on the dozens of perpetual lies uttered by HT Sanchez during the whole magnet misinformation/blame-campaign, as well as on the creation of racial  divisions created and fueled by HT Sanchez. However, a high paid attorney from Phoenix is not needed to go through the motions which will render afalse report stating that Mike Hicks was out of line in writing to the Court. Everyone knows it would be nothing but a biased investigation with a biased finding. (Remember the investigation that Julie Tolleson conducted on the procurement of an almost $100,000 contract that was awarded to a close associate of HT Sanchez- one who was listed as a reference when he applied for the TUSD job? He contacted his close associate about a potential contract a few months before the bid went public. Tolleson’s sham of an investigation concluded that no wrong doing had taken place, when it was obvious to the community that he had essentially given his close associate the contract. Tolleson later received a $20,000 salary increase in gratitude for the great “fav”.)  Sanchez’ procurement violation went without consequence.

We expect no objectivity from any attorney involved with TUSD while HT Sanchez remains in his position. His information and direction has not only tainted their work, it has poisoned the entire District. In the situation with Hicks, not only is HT’s tainting prevalent but- add to the lack of objectivity the fact that Julie Tolleson herself is implicated in the misconduct involving the magnet schools and the word corruption comes to mind. She was at the magnet school meetings where HT spewed his lies and created havoc within the school communities. (Many of us were at the various meetings.) She just sat there wistfully watching Sanchez mislead and lie. The mindset within the Salem-like Superintendent circle is to deal with those who disagree with him by silencing them (freeze them out; transfer them; intimidate them into resigning/retiring; fire them; discredit them with lies; humiliate them; etc.). It has happened to plenty of people- and with each incident, the fear within the District grows. In this case, HT, Tolleson and the outside firm decided there should be an investigation in order to intimidate Hicks and to distract US from the real issues outlined in Hicks’ first letter. Typical HT strategy.

Sanchez and his witch-burning gang are arrogant enough to actually believe that they can threaten any teacher, administrator or parent who spoke to one of HT Sanchez’ nemesis (Hicks) by conducting an investigation to search them out.  Of course, they will make effort to go after them in every way possible but Mike Hicks put the brakes on their Salem scheme by emphatically declaring that he would not divulge his sources. One of our objectives as Whistleblowers has been to expose Sanchez and his hatchet administrators (as well as his spineless Board majority). And by doing so, of course, somehow we are tied into the whole thing- because, after all, it is assumed that we, the Whistleblowers, must have spoken to Hicks.

We had been working on our 17th letter when we learned about Mike Hicks’ 2nd letter to the Court. We once again celebrated his actions but are horrified at the extent to which Salem Sanchez will go to punish anyone who he decides is in his way. His Board majority are, of course, complicit in the immoral and illegal degree of retaliation that is abound within Tucson’s largest public school system. Tax dollars are being used to hurt good people who are simply trying to do their job to support students. It is despicable that he has and is getting away with hurting so many while rewarding go-along air-heads!

We now move onto what our original letter stated. The news about Mike Hicks’ 2ndletter ties right into it. Strange how there seem to be consistent Sanchez themes in all that he touches (lies, corruption, favoritism, retaliation, incompetency, lies, intimidation, misdirection, and more lies).

Attempts to Destroy Desegregation

If any one of us were on the TUSD Board we would have figured out that both the Sanchez Administration and HIS legal counsel had been giving us very poor advice on the desegregation case. Come on- no one really believes that any of the attorneys take orders from the Board, which is why TUSD legal attorneys are tagged as Sanchez’ legal counsel (not the Board’s)! For anyone following the desegregation battle- TUSD is batting about zero in the court room. As court orders roll out, legal counsel whines about the results and attempts to shame and blame the plaintiffs and the Special Master. They have requested hearings before the judge more times than TUSD has open schools. They have been denied hearings every single time. Or- they have appealed to the Ninth Circuit and have lost. But none of these actions have given the Board one single clue about how poorly the desegregation case is being administered- you know- the job of the Hotheaded Texan (HT)! The Board has lost touch with what is really happening with the desegregation case due to their hands-off attitude and their allowance to have HT Sanchez take total control, while he keeps HIS legal counsel entranced. They say and do exactly as they are told to do by HT. All anyone has to do is read the TUSD court records to realize that HT is the one attempting to destroy desegregation.

The Board Majority nods yes at all he and HIS legal counsel recommend without any other REAL input. They each marvel at HIS rhetoric while pouring one shallow compliment after another at him. It is nauseating. It is a dereliction of duty! It is a waste of time and money. It is Adelita Grijalva, Krystal Foster and Cam Juarez being wagged by the tail.

Hey, but what do we know- those of us who are site administrators, teachers, parents?  We know that HT asked magnet principals to send out form letters that would intentionally misinform – most likely written by HT. We know that staff was asked to walk the magnet neighborhoods and drop off flyers at homes and businesses.  We know that our school communities have been lied to- not once and not twice but dozens of times. We know that HT and his sidebar, Adelita Grijalva (and her daddy), have all taken to arguing that TUSD should be allowed to live by a separatist doctrine that promotes images of Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas, etc. some 50 years ago- when their political powers were used to resist desegregation by providing separate but equal education. They lost this profoundly racist argument in the 1950s and now here we are in 2015 with this regressive approach being hailed by Sanchez, Grijalva (her daddy), Foster and Juarez. They are a disgrace to their position and any status that they have as democrats.

Sanchez, Grijalva and her daddy have versions of their stomp speeches, which all originated with the Hellish Trickster-Separatist Sanchez in 2013 during the magnet school forums, when he started to state publically that he disagreed with the Unitary Status Plan (USP) and that meeting the integration requirements was impossible for TUSD. This should have sent off alarms. He had been in Tucson less than three months and he was already arrogantly making these anti-desegregation court order declarations. Essentially, he was giving up on the USP- before even trying. Are we all afraid to call him a racist because he is Latino? HT Sanchez is a racist and there is plenty of evidence to support this fact.

Remember that he had ZERO experience in the area of desegregation, even though he claimed to have experience when he lied about it to the Governing Board during the selection process which took place during the summer of 2013. He then lied to the community about it (at Catalina High School). Also, remember that Sanchez had only a few months as “interim-superintendent” when he was hired for the position in TUSD. He served as Ector County Independent School District INTERIM Superintendent from March through June 2012- three months. The man was and is a rookie who has been allowed to destroy (or at least try) desegregation in TUSD, with support from Adelita Grijalva, Krystal Foster and Cam Juarez. This foursome wants to ensure that schools like Ochoa and Safford can remain segregated while being labeled a magnet school.

(Article continued below)

They- and their Casa Maria Catholic Workers political hacks- Brian Flagg and Cesar Aguirre want to convince the Latino community that it is good for poor brown children to be segregated. (These two hacks know even less about public education and desegregation than Sanchez and his inept clan.) At Ochoa during one of his lie upon lies meetings, Sanchez told parents that as Chicanos, we should not be told that we cannot learn unless we sit next to a white person.  Of course, his warped interpretation of desegregation shows exactly just how stupid the man is about the topic. It is beyond unconscionable that he, as our so called instructional leader, is so blatantly fueling racial division within our schools and within our communities. He is a racist. We find it interesting that he has never publically identified as a “Chicano” until he spoke with parent and community members from Ochoa. He is a man of whatever rhetoric works.

In a recent article in the Tucson Weekly, Adelita Grijalva states,

“If you look at some areas in town, the percentages are 99 percent,” Grijalva says. “These programs were created to offer more options for children of color. And it is ironic that, because the demographics in our district, those schools are going to lose funding because they are too brown.”  Did she not know about the demographics when she voted in favor of the USP- less than three years ago? Does she not understand that magnet schools are supposed to be the top strategy used within TUSD to desegregate? If the answer to these is no- she is more inept that what we thought. If the answer is yes- then she is a flip-flopping-fool. And as for her daddy- what else can be expected? He has no choice but to support her, no matter how stupid the stance?  He will find ways to numb his pain- of that we are sure. And, oh by the way, magnet schools are supposed to be good for all of the children who attend. That is what we tell ALL parents of children attending our magnet schools.

The Tucson Weekly goes on to say that ‘TUSD critics place the blame on the District- that the leadership has been starving the magnet schools, ignoring court orders, and neglecting them for so long.’ We agree with the critics since those of us who work at magnet schools know first-hand that we do NOT receive the support that is needed to succeed as magnet schools. We haven’t for years!

The article states that A. Grijalva says, ‘The Unitary Status Plan the district is supposed to obey continuously changes, making it hard to line up the magnet schools in a pathway to success.’ In other words, ‘Wah, wah, wah, wah!’  The District has had two totally unacceptable magnet plans. The first was rejected by the Board before even making it out of the 1010 doors to the Court. The second was basically rejected by the Court for several reasons. The District, being tremendously arrogant and presumptuous began implementing their second plan prior to Court approval and when the Court essentially told the District to scrap it, TUSD had to gulp hard and began making changes. This is what cry baby/cry wolf A. Grijalva is complaining about- the District’s poor work being rejected and having to begin anew. The third magnet plan has finally been accepted by the Court with the condition that the District revise it to include changes that it agreed to earlier. So basically, Adelita Grijalva is like the fifth grader who goes home and tells her dad, I have flunked my social studies test twice and it is totally the teacher’s fault. When the dad asks, “did you study”, the child says, “no, I don’t like social studies, and now, if I want to get a passing grade I am going to have to go back and read everything I haven’t so far. It is just too hard and it is all the teacher’s fault!”  A good dad, of course, sets the kid straight. A deficient dad argues on behalf of the kid and condemns the teacher.

You can read more about Adelita’s trivial gripes in the article at:

Do not miss the comments to the article! They tell more of the story than the actual article.

Separate But Equal is Unconstitutional Under The Law- It Served as a Catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement!

We have been thinking that it may do Sanchez and his ignorant clan some good to actually learn more about desegregation. For starters, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 in which the Court concluded,  “Racially segregated schools,” are “inherently unequal.”  The Court found support for its decision in research that indicated that achievement is improved in racially mixed classrooms.  The separate but equal argument was rejected since it is unconstitutional. Adelita Grijalva (her daddy), HT- you had better get another argument (and, BTW, there aren’t any left) OR- here is a thought- comply with the USP!

The most recent Court Order pertaining to the TUSD magnet plan pretty much lays it all out. As stated above, the Court accepted the TUSD Plan with some stipulations. It also instructs the Special Master to provide the Board President, non-other, than Adelita Grijalva, with a copy of each significant court order. This makes HER responsible for understanding each court order, without excuses and whining. The Court also states. “Because of the highly visible nature of the magnet schools, the Court has received large numbers of letters from concerned citizens. These letters reflect a great amount of misunderstanding by the public regarding the changes underway to TUSD’s magnet program.”  This says it all. When people are provided with misinformation (lies) there is no way that they can understand the issues. This is the most racist act of all by HT. HT intentionally has misled largely Latino school communities by providing them with lies about what has taken place under the desegregation order. He failed the schools from the onset by telling them that he did not agree with the integration requirements and that he would recommend to the Board that they challenge the requirement- that is the requirement to integrate. He led school communities down a very bad path. Meanwhile, the schools have lost almost three years by NOT doing what they were supposed to do. Now it all sits on Adelita Grijalva’s shoulders to understand the desegregation court order and all court rulings. It is about time that she is forced to step up and do the work of a Board member and Board President.

You can read more about the Court order at:

Season of Thanks

Thanks to all who have helped us spread our letters: Three Sonorans, Arizona Daily Independent, Tucson Weekly. All of our letters may be found on Three Sonorans @:

And… faithful readers please forward to your server list.

Remember- the re-election is nearing. The so-called Democrats on the Board do not perform their due diligence; they do not inform themselves outside of what they are spoon fed by HT; they are not promoting policies or actions that best support students. They need to be replaced by progressives who are willing to be Board members instead of HT’s clan.

5 comments on “The BIG Chill- A Witch Hunt by Salem Sanchez and the Attempted Destruction of Desegregation
  1. Darn it.

    I was just going to plod through this article on the malfeasance of Sanchez, but I can’t make it through due to all the punctuation, spacing and grammar issues starting with the paragraph beginning with “Sure…”

    Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

    You need to have someone proofread your posts before hitting the submit button. I’d gladly do it, but I’m not convinced that this site is an organic, grassroots effort to root out the bad in TUSD. Instead what I have come to believe is that this site is maintained by people at 1010 with an ax to grind.

  2. Oh, and one more thing: to the person that wrote this, PLEASE stop using hyphens (-) and semicolons. You don’t not know how to use them or actually place them in the text with the correct spacing. (There is a space before and after each hyphen, usually. If you don’t do this, you can omit the space but you have to omit the space before and after the hyphen. Someone at 1010 is using a space before the hyphen and not one after. INCORRECT.)

  3. I’m done with this article. I just had to stop…

    Subject-verb DISagreement.

    “If any ONE of us WERE…”

    The word “one” is singular, so you can’t use “were.” It should read, “If any one of was WAS.”

    (Note: There’s a debate about using were here but I’m not sure you’re aware of it. Most people aren’t. So I can assume the same of the author of this.)

    • Just when I thought that Sanchez has done everything possible to run TUSD into the ground and further damage its reputation, he pulls another outrageous stunt. How dare him go after a sitting Board Member- whether he likes the Board Member or not. I am a Democrat and am embarrassed that I voted for the three Board Members who pushed the hiring of Sanchez and who have kept him around.

      I am glad Mike Hicks stood up to all of the bullies involved in the effort to intimidate him. The attorneys involved, especially Julie Tolleson should be reported to the Arizona Bar Association. She is way out of line.

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