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TUSD Superintendent addresses mass shooting concerns, graduation safety

Announces plan to review emergency response and safety measures
TUSD Graduation Security
Posted at 1:41 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 15:43:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo addressed feelings of grief and concern following Tuesday's mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to "reassure our community that the safety and security of our students and employees have always been and will continue to be our top priority."

Considering the shooting's proximity to the district's graduations, Trujillo announced that there will be a visible presence by School Safety Department Officers as well as Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff's officers at most TUSD graduations. Both departments are monitoring incidents across the country and sharing intelligence with the district.

"I think all of the pieces that are usually in place in our TUSD graduations will be there," TUSD Board President Adelita Grijalva said. "People will be on a little bit heightened alert than we normally are."

TUSD is the only district in Arizona with a School Safety Department, which provides emergency response protocols, crisis plans, and lockdown practice drills, and that these safety strategies will be under review in response to the Texas shooting.

"I think the unfortunate part of all of this is that every parent had the fear this morning when dropping my child off at school is are we doing enough?" Grijalva added. "Obviously nationwide we are not doing enough. We as a community are doing everything we can."

The board will be going over the emergency response protocols and safety measures currently in place to protect our students and staff at an upcoming June board meeting.

Grijalva said the campuses will be more closed down than in the past.

"We're going to make sure that all of our buzzers are working at school, that even if someone looks familiar you are asking what are you doing here. Our campuses are not as open as they used to be pre-covid and I don't think that's going to change."

Trujillo's full statement is available on the TUSD Twitter:

TUSD offers a digital platform, Tucson Unified Connect App, that offers district student, parents and community members access to mental health support 24 hours a day.

Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.