Rumored TUSD blacklist revealed after two decades

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For two decades there has been a rumor going around about a "blacklist" at Tucson Unified School District

The blacklist has cost people a chance at getting hired with TUSD. 

Now - new details have come out that more than half of the people on the list shouldn't have been on the list in the first place.

 

 

More than 900 people were wrongly blacklisted for minimal reasons.

Many of the former employees blacklisted include, teachers, principals, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, counselors, Ex Ed teachers and more. 

 

 

TUSD Governing board President, Mark Stegeman says, the blacklist was an active institution but now no one wants to admit they had anything to do with it.

Stegeman says, the list was "rumored for years by people who lost their jobs at TUSD or maybe just left voluntarily and could never get another job." 

Some of the names were added in the last 5 years - Stegeman says, he has been trying to get down to the truth about it since coming on board in 2009. 

Just 3 years ago someone in the legal Department confirmed the list existed. 

"Bad theory is it was for retaliation purposes. The good theory is - it started as something legitimate to not hire people who really did something bad and morphed into something bad - I don't know which is true," says Stegeman. 

Stegeman says, more than 550 people had legitimate reasons to be blacklisted but after Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo reviewed the list he found that more than 900 people were wrongly blacklisted. 

"60 percent hadn't done anything bad that was documented, had never agreed to it and most of them had no idea that they were blacklisted - no appeal process, so that was sad."

Since December 21, 2017 - TUSD has 81 teacher vacant positions with 22 of those being for ExEd Teachers. 

Stegeman says this list has affected those numbers, "I know of specific cases where we lost talented people and that's a shame but maybe some of those people will come back now."

Now the question is - who was ultimately responsible for the list. Stegeman says, he would like the know the person behind the list.

So what's next? 

The district is going to send letters to those 900 people to tell them that they've been taken off the list and can now apply again. 

Stegeman says, a policy will need to be written saying that the blacklist will no longer be in effect. 

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