School safety focus of TUSD town hall

TUCSON, Ariz. - The TUSD Governing Board held a town hall meeting Tuesday night at Catalina High School.

School security, crisis readiness, and classroom discipline are hot topics in TUSD, and that's led to some interesting discussions and heated debates during board meetings.

Parents weighed in on safety concerns.

First, the district will address school safety and climate - including new training and protocols for emergencies.

That issue surfaced a few months ago following the Florida school shootings, and we reported a breakdown in crisis procedures at Saguaro High School that was caught on camera.

The district will then tackle how schools handle student discipline, a major point of contention and concern for years.

There's no question that TUSD's Code of Conduct needs work - the district, board, parents, teachers, and students all agree on that.

It's been at the forefront ever since we launched our investigation into severe discipline problems more than two years ago.

KGUN9's reports revealed some district and school leaders downplayed and under-reported student violations in the name of incident reduction. That led to more violence and defiance on some campuses.

The prior administration attempted to revise the Code of Conduct, but board members rejected the draft - citing it was too convoluted to be effective.

Now it's superintendent Gabriel Trujillo's turn, and it's been months in the making as the district worked out the kinks.

 It's up to draft 5 now -- after teachers, administrators, board members and those involved in the Unitary Status Plan weighed in.

Here are few differences:

  • One day suspension -- instead of 11 -- if a student is caught using drugs or fighting for the first time.
  • Definitions of physical conflict -- aggression -- fights -- assaults -- have been confusing and is more defined and consequences have changed for fights. They are more severe.
  • And there are entire sections that explain restorative practices and when and how unruly students will be handled or removed from classrooms. The draft -- that's a middle ground -- is ready for public input.

The district says the Code of Conduct draft is easier to read with more graphics and ten pages slimmer.

And back to school crisis concerns, the district will discuss the security systems that will be added to many schools during the summer.

Here is the current Code of Conduct listed on the TUSD website.

PREVIOUSLY:

TUSD board rejects discipline draft

TUSD drafts new discipline policy

9OYS Investigation: Assaults on TUSD teachers

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