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TUSD Board votes on vacant seat, vaping lawsuit and new security measures

TUSD Board votes on how to fill seat left vacant by Mark Stegeman
Posted at 10:32 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 01:36:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — There was a brief debate about what happens after a seat becomes vacant on the district's board.

Board member Racheal Sedgwick disputed how much the board can be involved in the process to replace Stegeman.

"We do not have the authority to tell the County Superintendent that he is permitted to appoint a governing board member," Sedgwick said.

Eventually the board voted to allow the Pima County Superintendent to directly appoint Stegeman's replacement.

The board will not provide their own list of candidates.

The board voted to skip any other process including calling for a special election, until the end of Stegeman's term, December 2020.

"Vaping is a problem in all of our high schools, especially," TUSD Superintendent, Gabriel Trujillo.

"Not unlike any high school around the nation. It's a pretty serious disruption that we deal with."

In a unanimous vote, the Board also approved joining a 'mass action lawsuit' against the vape company "Juul."

TUSD joins 12 other districts taking action for what the suit claims is "damages incurred by the district as a result of the marketing, distribution, and usage of" vape products by students in the district.

Local law firm, Miller and Pitt, joined a law firm out of Kansas City in the suit.

An attorney with that firm told KGUN9 that TUSD will not be billed, rather the attorneys will be paid by any potential settlement from the suit.

The board also addressed school safety.

They voted to spend more than $865,000 to beef up security at 23 campuses, that money will pay for cameras and "access control systems."

Below is a list of which campuses will receive cameras and access control systems:

Cameras
Holladay Elem
Manzo Elem
Booth Fickett
Pueblo Gardens K8
Safford K8
Doolen MS
Magee MS
Pistor MS
Vail MS
Valencia MS
Gridley MS
Doolen MS
Tucson High

Access Control
Holladay Elem
Manzo Elem
Ochoa Elem
Tully Elem
Tully Elem
Vail MS
Magee MS
Pistor MS
Tucson High