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Rampant bullying: Teacher speaks out

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 14:21:50-04
Continuing coverage on rampant bullying and vandalism at another Tucson Unified School, Booth-Fickett, a K-8 magnet school.
 
Teachers, students and parents have come forward to say discipline problems are getting worse as the district moves to a more lenient code of conduct. 
 
Today, a retired certified teacher, who is a now substitute in TUSD, is speaking out. She's worked at four schools this year, but won't go back to Booth-Fickett.
 
14-years as a educator. A veteran taught to control classrooms. But this retired teacher, who doesn't want her identity revealed because she fears retaliation, told KGUN9 she's hasn't seen anything like it. "Never has this ever happen to me before in my life -- never," she said.
 
Recently she walked into one of the middle school classrooms that didn't have a permanent full-time teacher. The long-term substitute didn't leave her a lesson plan for the students.
 
"They all had cell phones. They were up out of their seats. The kids were running out of class. One of them had done some damage to the air conditioner vent. One or two of them, not sure how many, drew a penis on the blackboard," she said.
 
She called the front office for help, but she says it wasn't much help. Having worked as an educator in other states, she believes the severe teacher shortage in TUSD is contributing to the discipline problems.
 
"When you go in there without having a real teacher for sometimes weeks and months, they're not exactly the best behaved kids in the world," she said.
 
She says it was so bad, she won't return to Booth-Fickett. "I felt as a teacher the liability was too big of a concern. I was afraid that someone was going to get hurt in the classroom," she said.
 
The district told us that it's investigating the discipline and vandalism issues at Booth Fickett. Superintendent H.T. Sanchez visited the school yesterday.