KGUN 9News


Booth-Fickett Principal told to leave school

Posted at 7:44 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-21 13:21:25-04

The principal of Booth-Fickett K-8 Magnet school is told to leave the day after his candid interview with KGUN9.

During the interview Tuesday, Charles Bermudez said he's retiring next month because he's was mistreated by a top administrator after parents and students complained that new discipline policies have led to more bullying and vandalism.
KGUN9 has learned TUSD administrators met with Bermudez Wednesday morning and told him they were disappointed in him and it was his last day at the school.
And another Booth Fickett insider came forward calling the shift in discipline -- disturbing.
The worker described vicious brawls that start out as a game. "I'm going to slug you in the face and you're going to turn around and slug me in the face. It's all well in good and fun and then I've seen it transition into being a full blown fight." 
And the insider said students target staff too. 9OYS's Valerie Cavazos asked, "Have you been assaulted by students?" The worker answered, "Yes." 
No details could be given to protect the worker's identity. 
Cavazos asked, "Do you think the attack would be considered a felony?" The worker answered, "I would assume so, yes."
Other alleged crimes include drugs on campus -- kids caught with bongs in backpacks. "Kids on stage roll joints and are doing lurid dances during service time." And these are students no older than 8th graders.
The insider says many on the staff are frustrated that the more lenient Code of Conduct is not correcting bad behavior.
Students are told to apologize to their victims and could face in-school suspension, but many end up back in class the same or next day.
The insider said, "It's not working period. The children do not fear the consequence. It's not something that really impacts them. They go to in-house and hang out with their buddies. They keep repeating the same disciplinary actions and nothing changes. They don't care. They know they're going to get a slap on the wrist." 
And the insider worries about the message it's sending to the younger students who are headed to middle school.
TUSD said administrators are back on campus this week looking into the discipline issues.