TUSD continues to remain silent on violent student behavior this semester

I work for the Tucson Unified School District and I have been heavy hearted about what I see everyday. I read your article on the media having a conflict of interest in reporting the truth and it made me upset because I don’t know how to bring these issues to light.

There are many unsafe situations in the elementary school I work at – which happens to be right around the corner from Palo Verde HS.

Common occurrences include students throwing chairs, and other objects that hit students and teachers in the face, kids fighting each other in the classroom, putting other students at risk and for some reason administrators want to keep it quiet.

One episode a few weeks ago involved a student choking another student almost unconscious and having to be pulled off by a teacher. The students were taken out of the classroom and after a “talk” by the dean they were able to return to class with the other kids as if nothing had happened at all.

Just a little over a week ago a student went on such a violent rampage in the classroom that the teacher evacuated the other students to keep them from being hit further. The student never received any out of class consequence.

What is this type of daily occurrence saying to students and teachers?

Basically you can do whatever you want, no matter how dangerous, and never receive a consequence. These elementary students will end up at Palo Verde HS in just a few years and their violent behaviors will have increased significantly by then because no one is doing anything about it now. Community members as well as the students in the school have to be subject to these kids who are cultivating and breeding violence in an environment where they are told that it’s ok.

Please help to bring this situation to light again.

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  • Lillian Fox

    What does the principal say? It is a principal’s job to maintain order and support the teachers.

    The TUSD code of conduct says any assault on a school employee is to be reported to the local law enforcement, that is TPD. The assault is aggravated assault any time there is an assault on any school employee. So, if the boys or girls hit a teacher, call the police and report it. Look it up in TUSD’s discipline policy and do it, if any school employee is hit. It does not have to be a teacher.

    Leslie Cooper is the Chief Counsel of the Education Unit of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, You may not reach her, but she needs to know what is happening in TUSD and someone in her office should be able to tell you what to do about assaults on students. I don’t know her phone number, but this is the Tucson number for the Civil Rights Office of the Attorney General’s Office:(520) 628-6500 / TDD (520) 628-6872. Seems to me the kids have a civil right not to be hit, but these folks should be able to give you he phone number to reach someone in the Education Unit.

    Perhaps, the teacher should notify social services anonymously, because TUSD is notorious for retaliation. What is described, sounds like another form of child abuse, even if it is other children.

    If the teacher is a member of TEA, try calling TEA. This is exactly when a teachers’ union should step in to protect members and the kids. If TEA is no help, decide if TEA is worth the dues you pay or ask them what you are getting for your money. Or call AFT, they’re AEA’s (TEA’s) competitors. Ask AFT what they’ll do to help you and the kids.

    Call Valerie Cavazos at Channel 9. It helps every teacher and every kid in TUSD when she reports the problems the Sanchez and his Board majority ignore. Valerie protects teachers’ anonymity. She certainly has talked to plenty of TUSD teachers with the same problem..

    Call your elected Tucson mayor, city council person, county supervisor,r Arizona legislative district representatives, and senator. They’re running for re-election. The majority have endorsed and are raising money for Foster and Juarez’s re-election. Tell them what your school is like with the present Board majority and ask them to do something helpful.

    Go to the TUSD Board Candidates Forum on Thursday Sept 29 at the YWCA on 525 N. Bonita Ave from 6:30 to 8pm. Listen to the candidates and ask them what they’re going to do to end TUSD’s discipline disaster. There should be another candidate forum the first week of October at Palo Verde High School on 22d St, but TUSD has been playing games for a month with the Dietz Neighborhood Association about letting them rent the auditorium. TUSD claimed there had been enough forums.Then they claimed there had been a complaint to the Arizona Attorney General two years ago. Now they’re saying the auditorium can be rented, but we will all have to see. You could also contact the League of Women Voters and say we need a second eastside forum.

    Call or email Wakeup Tucson on 1030 AM, JT Harris on 104.1 FM and write the Arizona Daily Independent to get the news out about what is happening in your school. You can contact all three without giving your name.

    We all need to protect the children and the TUSD employees and do everything we can to help Sanchez understand, he made a mistake when he prevented school administrators from doing their jobs.

  • juan

    People, we’re talking about children 5 to 10 years old! Where do these kids come from?
    Kick their arses out of school and let the parents explain why their child should continue to attend.
    This kind of crap happens at my kids school, we’re another charter school family!

  • TUSD Employee

    Change the Board! Vote out Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez.

What do you think?