9OYS Education Watch
TUSD superintendent speaks out about whistleblower's termination
Superintendent says training will guide district toward improvements in protocol
Now, the Tucson Unified School District must come up with a plan to ensure that similar situations don't happen in the future.
"If you ask me to guarantee that we won't have problems in areas across this district, I'd be a fool to do that," said John Pedicone, TUSD superintendent. "What I can tell you is that (we're) making as about an aggressive (of) an effort to be sure those things don't happen as we can."
The federal investigation brought to light damaging revelations about the manner in which the district retaliates against whistleblowers.
The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights investigators found that Rose Hamway, a school psychologist, had been retaliated against when she worked at two high schools in 2009.
TUSD terminated Hamway's contract after she reported "the mistreatment of children with special needs, lack of due process, pretty blatant violations of law."
Pedicone said more training is needed to prevent how the district had mishandled Hamway's complaints.
"Legal training for our principals is extremely important and how to avoid exactly these kinds of situations - this could have been avoided," he said. "There are things we have to put in place that are part of the routine of how we train teachers."
Although the situation didn't happen under Pedicone's watch, the actions taken thereafter fell on him and he said he takes that responsibility seriously.
"That's our obligation," he said. "That's my obligation as the leader in this district. We'll do everything we can to make sure we take care of these problems and others."