TUCSON, Ariz. - Tucson's largest school district may select a new Director for Discipline this week to tackle what the superintendent has called one of the biggest challenges facing the district.
But one T-U-S-D board member is concerned it's happening too fast. Michael Hicks says he just found out at last week's town hall -- that superintendent Gabriel Trujillo has created the administrative position for next school year.
"It was a surprise to me," said Michael Hicks, who just found out at last week's town hall that superintendent Gabriel Trujillo has created a new position -- Director for Discipline -- who will lead a full time team.
It comes in most part at the direction of the Special Master in the desegregation case, who, according to a case document, has little confidence in the district that it can reduce discipline levels.
Severe discipline issues have been at the forefront -- ever since we launched our investigation a few years ago that revealed some district and school leaders downplayed and under-reported student violations, which led to more violence and defiance on some campuses.
A reason, Hicks says, the district -- 1010 as it's called -- needs to be careful who it hires. "I know we were not bringing forward and being transparent in regards to the discipline issues we were having," said Hicks.
The board is set to vote on Trujillo's selection at Tuesday's board meeting, but right now it's not being revealed to the public who that is. "I'm hoping Trujillo goes and interviews individuals who are not associated with 1010, whether they are teachers I'm okay with that or somebody outside the district," he said.
The director's duties would include analyzing data, tackling hotspots, conducting school walkthroughs, overseeing policy compliance issues, but Hicks wants this added -- "Whoever this individual is going to be needs to be able to have the ability to discipline administration if the administration needs to be disciplined," he said.
The district is also working on the last details of a new code of conduct policy for an upcoming board vote.