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TUSD principal under fire for failing to report safety issues

Posted at 11:49 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 14:32:02-04

The Tucson Unified board president says he's lost confidence in one of the high school principals. 

Pueblo principal Auggie Romero has come under fire in recent years over a grade-changing scandal and a series of crimes on campus.
Our investigation into these issues continues. Romero's personnel files reveal -- what Michael Hicks calls -- a disturbing pattern.

Though Michael Hicks has asked for Pueblo HS Principal Auggie Romero's personnel records, he's never seen all the files until recently -- when we emailed them to him for comment. Hicks told us, "I believe I saw part of it and not much of it."

He said what's revealed in the records is alarming. Starting with the first safety incident in Oct 2015 when a student came to campus -- armed with a handgun.

According to a letter of discipline in Romero's personnel records, the student:

Indicated to some students he was looking for a couple of student athletes who at the time were involved in athletic practice. He made threatening comments and showed a gun to some other students.

The school went into lockdown and police apprehended the student. But parents of the student-athletes complained to school administrators didn't notify them about the threats.

In an email, assistant superintendent Abel Morado chastised Romero for not following proper protocol in a crisis and demanded Romero come up with a plan.

But Hicks said Romero continued to defy the order.

In April 2017, sources told us parents were not told a large amount of a dangerous drug -- Xanax -- was found on campus. Seven students had been rushed to the emergency room.

"Again the proper protocols were not followed by the administration," said Hicks.

The personnel records reveal another series of crimes on campus -- Burglary and Vandalism -- that Morado failed to report right away in March of this year.

High schools director Matt Munger wrote in an email that a break-in/theft on March 27th was not reported to leadership until two days later -- when a district administrator sent a text message to Munger asking if he was aware a couple of rooms had been vandalized.

Munger didn't know. 

In the email, Munger wrote that Romero confirmed he waited to get an inventory of what was taken. Dr. Romero stated that neither TPD nor YUSD School Safety had been called. Munger wrote he told Romero the vandalism should have immediately. Less than a month later, School safety complained that top leadership was uncooperative when they tried to investigate another break-in/burglary.

Those incidents happened only a few months after two major vandalism incident that damaged classrooms and the gym totaling about 1 million dollars.

Hicks said he's informed the district of complaints, "from parents in Midvale. They're scared of what's going on there. They're afraid for their students, their children's safety at this high school."

And Hick wants the superintendent to investigate this entire collection of district violations.

"Administration has asked principals to leave for much less than what this individual has done. The principal of Pueblo high school is getting a free pass as far as I'm concerned."

Hicks told KGUN9 he's waiting for the superintendent's response before he makes any move. The superintendent and principal Auggie Romero have declined my requests for an interview or response.