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Tanque Verde School District working to improve diversity education

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Posted at 9:53 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 08:01:47-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Wednesday night's board meeting, the Tanque Verde Unified School District's Superintendent Scott Hagerman said that the district is working on putting together a guide group to focus on improving diversity education.

"We are going to have about 12 members on the group including, students, staff, parents, and community members," Hagerman said.

He added that they are making calls for potential members now and hope to have it together as soon as possible.

This comes after four people were arrested for antisemitic graffiti that was found at Tanque Verde Elementary School.

The district said that three of the people involved were students at the district. Those students have since been suspended.

Hagerman also said that an updated student code of conduct will be presented to the board during the next meeting on April 27.

Here is the full statement from earlier this month:

This statement is from Tanque Verde Unified School District Superintendent Scott Hagerman.

On the weekend of March 19, three Tanque Verde High School and two Sahuaro High School students trespassed on Tanque Verde Elementary School property late at night. The students were caught on security camera video spray painting a swastika and other general graffiti tagging on the elementary school property.

The TVUSD administration was easily able to identify the students from the video, and the Pima County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) was notified. We understand that PCSD is pressing criminal charges.
This is abhorrent behavior. It is absolutely unacceptable to us. We took quick action. The TVHS students are suspended for the remainder of the school year.

It is important that we reiterate that:

  • We do not tolerate racism or harassment of any kind in our schools, and our policies must support and reinforce that. Period.
  • We are taking action on racial intolerance in our schools. The TVUSD Governing Board will convene a special session next week to discuss retaining outside Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) experts to help the district develop action steps in light of this and other issues of racial intolerance in the schools.
  • The TVUSD Governing Board also has initiated a review of our student code of conduct as well as other policies to address harassment of any kind against anyone at our schools, to provide a structure to protect students and staff, and to ensure accountability.

Working through these issues will take time and will take courage. Our society is accustomed to instant solutions in every aspect of our lives, but that is just not the reality when tackling issues this important.

The work that lies ahead for TVUSD will be as difficult as it is necessary. We may have differences of opinion as to how we work toward solutions, but, as a learning community, we are united in our responsibility to ensure that every student in our care, no matter where they come from or what they look like, feels safe, seen, and supported.

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Greg Bradbury is a reporter for KGUN 9. Greg is a recent graduate of Syracuse University where he studied Broadcast Journalism and Spanish. During his time at SU, he spent the majority of his time at the school's TV station, CitrusTV. Over the course of 3 years there, he worked as a reporter, anchor, and news director. Greg joined KGUN 9 in February 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist after working at the ABC National Desk as a Digital News Associate. Share your story ideas and important issues with Greg by emailing greg.bradbury@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.