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Comment Archives: stories: Currents: Currents Feature

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

Thank you Schmackie! The sad truth is the Students lose. The 8 1/2 years I worked and the 3 years I coached at THMS were some of the best of my life. I miss those students, I have bumped into enough of them outside of THMS to know I made a difference.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Targeted Hispanic on 03/22/2014 at 8:47 PM

Re: “

Who's Coming to the Conference?

UGH!

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TXJesse on 03/21/2014 at 7:51 PM

Re: “Glitter From Uranus

GourdHead, I don't mean to say life sucks. I was a few Goldschlagers in when I said that, so I wasn't concise. I love life. A lot. I meant to imply that life can be tough sometimes, lots of work, and looking at it head on can sometimes be a chore. My point was that a life without fun is not worth living. I DO sincerely distrust people who don't have fun and laugh at themselves. I hope that clears up what I meant to say. People need more than just their daily chores to get by. They need fantasy. They need fun.

I also want to clear up that the article focuses on me a little too much regarding Edible. It would not be what it is without also Doug Biggers (THE publisher), Megan Kimble (our managing editor), Steve McMackin (our graphic designer), Gary Nabhan (Edible's "weird uncle" and editorial consultant) our sales reps and the countless writers, photographers and artists who contribute.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jared R. McKinley on 03/21/2014 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

In the fall of 2012, then-superintendent John Pedicone sent out an email to all district employees urging anyone who feels that they have been the victim of retaliation to contact district EEO officer Marcia McGaskill. I filed a formal complaint against Abel Morado at that time. McGaskill listened, took notes, and seemed to sympathize with what happened to me. She said she would investigate and get back to me within a couple weeks. Months went by without a word from her. I politely inquired. Still nothing. I sent her a slightly agitated email asking her what's going on. She then responded that a "response will be forthcoming". Finally, I received a letter from her stating that my claim had no merit, even though she failed to take the investigative measures that she had promised to take--that she should have taken. She also informed me that she had turned my documentation over to the legal department. Needless to say, these actions resulted in further retaliation against me.
This is the game that TUSD plays. They get you to confide in someone within the district, then use the information that is gleaned from that confidence against you.
Frankly, I'm just glad that I'm out of the district for good and that I wasn't framed like Targeted Hispanic, whom I know and vouch for.
TUSD is a cesspool of hidden agendas and divisive politics. You cannot trust school administrators nor can you trust anyone in the district office. You certainly cannot trust the Board majority. And, sadly, there is absolutely no evidence that things are moving in a better direction.

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Schmackie on 03/20/2014 at 9:03 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

For the Safety of our kids,
I could just hug you! Your well articulated post is filled with passion and focus on what must take place at Tucson High. I hope that you will organize the parents at Tucson High so that it is made clear that parents are holding the administration accountable. If the leadership is not changed THMS will lose many good teachers. The current principal keeps telling those who are gullible that she is getting rid of the old TEA guard. What she wants are young teachers who will not question all of the very questionable things she is doing.
So please, get the parents involved!

17 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Teach4theloveofit on 03/20/2014 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

Teach4theloveofit,

My post was pure sarcasm; it's regrettable that you took it as a literal suggestion to hire an Asian-American to fix the situation.

Bad leadership is bad leadership. Race was injected into this topic by the "whistle blowers", without any published evidence to back them up. (If that evidence exists, let's see it!)

Let's not miss the forest for the trees.

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/20/2014 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

I am a parent of children who graduated from THMS and an uncle of several nephews and nieces who are currently Badgers. After reading this article and posts many of us are very concerned and outraged.

First and most importantly, the focus of the complaint according to the article is the safety of our young person’s on the campus of Tucson High. Discriminatory actions would only add to a volatile environment.
This is not about race or gender; it is about alleged actions of an administrator.

Using common sense, these complainants would not have brought their concerns to the Superintendent unless they had evidence, facts and/or witnesses to their allegations.

Several other factors lend to this viewpoint.
One is the issue of retaliation as stated in the article by the complainants and by teachers in subsequent postings. No reasonable person would take a series of severe allegations to the Superintendent unless they had substantial evidence.
Two, TUSD Legal has been directed to investigate this matter.
Just to place this into perspective, who signs the paychecks for the TUSD Legal department? They are there to “protect” TUSD and in particular their boss, Dr. Sanchez. So, after six months, they get the nod and not an unbiased, independent investigator. Typical TUSD maneuvering.
Bottom line it seems that this is not a group of unhappy employees, but instead persons who really care for our kids.

To remind everyone, years ago after another school shooting in another state, a news crew went to different schools to check on their security. I recall that report stating that Tucson High was a fortress. Our kids were protected. It seems it is not the case anymore.

It seems that nothing was done until a fight in a THMS classroom was aired on the local news report. Within a week of this fight, there was a fire in an empty classroom at THMS.

There are also allegations of discipline data tampering. Why would someone do this? A simple answer could be so that the individual could state that discipline issues have been diminished on the campus. According to the allegations, discipline issues are not being addressed, overlooked and minimized. Is it possible that someone looking for a promotion?

Dr. Sanchez has been on a public relations campaign stating that he is here for the students.
Yet, he did not feel it was important to address an issue that these persons brought to him concerning the safety of our students.

Maybe if Dr. Sanchez had implemented the discipline methodology written in the USP that TUSD, the Fishers, and the Mendoza’s signed and agreed to, this kind of problems may be reduced or eliminated. Instead, Dr. Sanchez seems more comfortable finger pointing at the USP Plaintiffs instead of working with the court ordered mandate. Dr. Sanchez knew when he was hired that TUSD had worked on, negotiated and agreed to the USP. If he didn’t like it, he should not have taken the job.

As taxpayers, we should be looking at a Superintendant who obviously is more concerned with politics than our kids and our community. We also have to look at members of the Governing Board who seem to have forgotten that the Superintendent works for them and consistently turn a blind eye to this politician.

As parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts it is our right to find out what is going on at THMS. It is time to ask some tough questions.

We must put aside our apathetic tendencies and if even a small portion of the allegations are true, demand the removal of the principal, the Superintendant and not vote for certain Board Members who by their actions minimize the safety of our kids.

It is time to send a message, our kids come first.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ForTheSAFETYofOurKIDS on 03/20/2014 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Glitter From Uranus

"Life on its own is sucky. It's bullshit..."

Seems like a weird comment by the associate publisher of a magazine dedicated to celebrating what makes life so great here.

Posted by GourdHead on 03/20/2014 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

No advanced teaching degrees are required to surmise that TUSD's legal dept. will ever find any legal, ethical or policy violations within TUSD. This self-policing followed by their assurance does the opposite of building public confidence. We look forward to hearing more from the whistleblowers in monthly follow-up articles and on local news and talk shows. The only assurance whistleblowers have is bringing the retaliation to light as the legal community has professional experts that specialize in destroying the lives of people of conscience.

What is TUSD's WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION POLICY?

31 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by the sad truth of it for whistleblowers on 03/20/2014 at 4:53 AM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

And the TUSD voyeurs have arrived!

HumanBean, there is actually a formal complaint that has been filed against the current principal and if you read the article, it was filed more than six months ago. As far as I know, there was no formal e complaint filed against Morado comparable to the one which is written about in the TW. And whether there was or was not, is irrelevant, we want the current situation dealt with and it is chicken-manure to use a claim that has never been made before (against Morado) to defend the current principal's obvious inability to manage the school. Teachers and staff have lost confidence in her; fights have escalated; bullying has increased; a fire was started on the campus, teachers and staff do not feel safe or supported and student safety has been compromised. (And these are just the things that have made it to the media.) . Ouch! Would anyone believe the current principal is doing a stellar job? Sure, Morado was not perfect as a principal, although, in hindsight- he is greatly appreciated. the bottom line is he did run a tight ship and the campus was safe. In the last couple of weeks Tucson High has been in the news for mostly negative reasons. Do you think that maybe the current leadership has something to do with that? Most of us do believe that there is a leadership vacuum at THMS. The indicators have all become public.

To suggest that it is time for an Asian American to be the principal just minimizes and dehumanizes minorities. Your lack of awareness is mind-boggling. HB- live up to your handle and become a real human; have some human integrity and compassion.

As for Marty- your hatred comes through much too often on TW comments and it is only a match to your ignorance. Have you taken half an hour to an hour to read the TUSD desegregation plan? If so,you must have missed the fact that student learning is a significant portion of the plan? For what it is worth, I have only recently read the plan, which should be required reading for everyone who works directly with students. Having read it, I now know that the plan is NOT being implemented at THMS and can only guess that THMS is not an exception to the rule. This is a court ordered plan that is being ignored by the TUSD administration. It is a plan that was stipulated by the TUSD Governing Board, along with the plaintiffs. Marty, try doing some level of research before spewing your hatred and ignorance.

For as long as the current principal has been in place she has blamed Morado for one thing after another. We thought that her attacks on him would stop after the first six months but they have continued. This is someone who lacks professional behavior and is incapable of owning up to her own failures. She will continue to blame Morado for the current issues and she will undoubtedly blame those who have spoken up by formalizing their complaints.

Take a look inward. Enough said.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Teach4theloveofit on 03/19/2014 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Glitter From Uranus

Kanye is great tho

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Dan Hernandez on 03/19/2014 at 6:09 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

Somebody ought to ask Special Master Hawley how his desegregation plan...with its emphasis on promoting racial and ethnic consciousness...is working out. So long as race and ethnicity ...rather than student learning... is the prime focus for TUSD this crap will continue. The only changes will be in which groups are being favored and which are out of favor.

10 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Marty on 03/19/2014 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

The former Mexican-American principal and the the current Black-American principal are both accused of the same thing? Maybe it is time for an Asian-American principal.

9 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/19/2014 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

We are a group of THMS teachers and are so proud of the those who have so bravely exposed the problems on our campus and at central administration (1010). We speak without identity because of our fear of retaliation from our administration and from 1010. Some significant things have happened since Ms. Herreras’ article was published. We are thankful for her reporting.

1.On Tuesday, March 11th Sanchez announced that an investigation by the TUSD Legal Department would be conducted, as requested by the Board President. The investigation would look into the consultant that was awarded a contract and who was linked to Sanchez. We have followed the reporting by the Arizona Daily Star and are also thankful for their investigative reporting. Sanchez made contact with a consultant shortly after he learned that he would be the next TUSD superintendent. This was before he had a contract. He proposed to the consultant, that they work together and use the same template that they had already used while he was interim supt. in his small Texas school district. If this is not blatant pre-selection; what is?
2.The day following the Board meeting, the Arizona Daily Star wrote about the investigation that was conducted by the TUSD Legal Department and included a copy of the report. The TUSD Legal Department concluded that there were no legal violations. However, the report did not mention that public confidence has been violated by a superintendent who insists he did nothing wrong, apparently not understanding that integrity counts for something in Tucson. The comments that were posted on the article were very critical about the process of having the Legal Department, which reports to Sanchez, conduct the investigation. The comments said that the investigation could not possibly be objective. (The Legal Department is conducting the investigation on our campus. We all have a lot to say but not to the Legal Department!) It took a very short period of time for the Legal Department to conduct the investigation that was announced on March 11th, while the complaints filed by the Tucson High Magnet employees have reportedly been ignored for more than six months. The priorities are upside down in TUSD. The Arizona Daily Star article is at: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/planning-contract-legal-tusd-finds/article_a30dde3f-0906-5088-bb14-81b7f9eabf5a.html
3. On Wednesday, March 12th Sanchez visited the Tucson High campus. He met with the principal. Within minutes after he arrived most of us were aware of his visit. (With so much paranoia on the campus, people are communicating more.) The principal was obviously shaken by the meeting.
4. Later in he week she said that another meeting was scheduled for her by Sanchez at 1010 and that she was worried. She told some that she would have to “get political”.
5. She did meet with Sanchez and she took someone with her, who was not recognized right away. We learned from friends at 1010 that the person who escorted the THMS principal to her meeting with Sanchez is somewhat of an influential person in the corporate community. Her name is Daisy Jenkins. Teachers and staff at THMS want to know why a principal is allowed to have someone like Jenkins attend a meeting that was scheduled for the two of them. Non administrators, such as teachers and staff are not allowed to bring outside representatives with us to our meetings with management. Have all of the principals/administrators who have been called into Sanchez’ office to discuss concerns been allowed the same privilege? We looked Jenkins up and found the following: http://www.unitedwaytucson.org/daisy-m-jenkins-bio

THMS has had very negative press over the last two weeks which has finally exposed a severe weakness in our leadership. Why would this principal be allowed to make the situation “political” and bring someone of influence with her to a meeting with the supt.? Is this another…”it is who you know that counts?”

We are disgusted with the situation at Tucson High and with what is being modeled at 1010.

Community stay alert!

33 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by BringBackBadgerPride on 03/18/2014 at 10:27 PM

Re: “Once More Unto the Breach

How many SS's have gone on to be Gov of AZ - Rose Mofford, Jan Brewer, Jane Hull, Bruce Babbit (AG when SoS not eligible), Wes Bolin... We can only hope that whatever nutjob the Republicans get into office doesn't last long.

Posted by susie on 03/18/2014 at 11:56 AM

Re: “Once More Unto the Breach

This is kinda clever. Let the Republicans elect whatever loony they can dig up (cuz they're FOSSILS, get it?), and then when the new guv does something unforgivable, as they so often do, then our guy coasts into office like Rose or Jan. Kudos!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Hurri on 03/17/2014 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

There is a similar situation at Pueblo HS! HT met with their staff recently!

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Pueblo Class of 2012 on 03/16/2014 at 1:10 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

TW, please do not abandon these whistle blowers or close the comments section at TUSD counsel's request. This retaliation against TUSD whistle blowers requires the public to take a closer look at TUSD's legal counsel, counsel is aware that allowing a hostile work environment to persist is wrong (and unlawful), what excuse could they have for allowing the complaint to be "lost" and failing to take proactive and responsible action? Negligence to perform one's legal duty to protect and uphold the law is an injustice to the entire staff, students, school reputation and taxpayers. Upholding the law is the best shield against class action and ill public perception.

39 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by no no dereliction of duty to whistle blower protection on 03/16/2014 at 4:45 AM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

After working for TUSD for 13 years, then being fired along with the entire faculty and staff for our school "underperforming." (and as it turned out we were NOT underperforming, it was a political move on the part of an assistant superintendent), no amount of corruption surprises me.

Though our firing was unwarranted, unethical, and the result of a corrupt alliance between the asst. supt. and the principal of another school, God protected me and I wound up in a much better situation.

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Crawford on 03/15/2014 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Too Little, Too Late?

If your kid has disciplinary problems at Tucson High, or any TUSD school, the main issue isn't how the "punishment" is netted out (I would guess it is to help the student so that he/she can function in society), but the main issue is that the child has a conduct issue. I can see some parents blaming the principle, saying, "well, the black kids get away with a lot, my kid always gets punished it's not fair."

No, it is not fair to other students that your child is disrupting schoolwork and activities. And if the principle "goes easy" on some black students, then they just continue on thinking their behavior is OK, and it gets them in trouble down the line when there isn't a friendly principle to help them avoid dealing with the issues.

I think there is an attitude among some in Tucson, who want to blame everything on racism.

Behavioral problems: racism
Education achievement problems: racism
Kids get bored in class: the curriculum is racist

With all the finger pointing, it would be hard for a sense of community to develop at Tucson High.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 03/15/2014 at 1:02 PM

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