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TUSD parents say district not stopping bullies

District says it can't disclose punishments
Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 12:50:08-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - What is TUSD doing to clamp down on bullies and help kids get their educations in peace?
      
A Nine On Your Side investigation showed parents and students telling their stories of fear, abuse and serious physical injury.
 
Tuesday night many parents, and some students took their fears to TUSD's School Board.  Wednesday KGUN9's asked the school superintendent to respond to the parents complaints.
 
At the board meeting, parent recounted threats and attacks against their children: 
 
“He’’s actually been bullied for the last nine weeks to the point of he had a broken arm.  He has had a severe concussion in fact he was again injured today."
 
"She was bullied for over three weeks; threatened on a daily basis, from class to class, telling her, 'we're gonna find you, we're gonna get you."
 
“II have medical bills stacking up because one of my son's teeth was knocked out and the other one was jammed up into his other tooth that is now broken."
 
“'My little one right here. She's getting threatened.  If I don't drop these charges against these girls they're gonna hurt her now?"
 
One girl in Middle School told the board,  "I wake up wanting to not go to school and suicidal and depression because........">
       
We asked TUSD superintendent HT Sanchez about that frustration and fear.
       
He told us the district does enforce strict standards against bullying, but investigates with the idea there are two sides to every story.
 
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith said: “I can hear a parent saying, are you saying my child brought it on himself?”  
 
Sanchez: “We never, we never take a side when we're doing an investigation.  That's not part of what we do.  As a matter of fact we hear out all sides of the story.  We bring in witnesses who have seen.  We take into consideration social media, any pictures, any videos."
       
To prevent bullying he says schools beefing up supervision and are trying to change how students behave.
 
“But I think the biggest piece is really focusing on that climate and culture that we're gonna treat each other with respect and dignity.  We're gonna model it and when we come into those situations where there are bullies. There are strict and severe consequences for those."
       
Sanchez says he understands parents may feel nothing is done, but Federal privacy law prevents the district from saying when it does punish a specific bully.
 
Board member Michael Hicks says the district and parents need to teach respect. And says he has a hard time learning how the district deals with bullies.
 
“I want to know something's being done so when the kid comes back and the kid's still in the same classroom and the same thing happens again I'm gonna think you did nothing. You absolutely did nothing.  Now you come in, the kid is more respectful, the kid's not there or whatever whether they're male, female or whatever then you can see a noticeable difference."