TUSD discusses school safety in wake of mass shootings - Tucson News Now

TUSD discusses school safety in wake of mass shootings

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

In a moment of crisis and chaos, the Tucson Unified School District governing board says it is prepared.

At least, that's what was presented at a special meeting Tuesday night, March 6.

During a special information session, involving two items revolving around school safety and weapons on campus, the TUSD Governing Board was given a presentation by School Safety Director Jeffrey Coleman.

The presentation, titled "Emergency Preparedness: Overview of Planning and Response," gave attendees a chance to see what's being done for safety purposes on TUSD campuses.

Campuses, like nearby Rincon and University High Schools at 5th Street and Arcadia Avenue, where mother Mindy Harper picked up her daughters from school.

She knows that when she visits, or even steps foot on campus, she has to go through a rigorous check in process.

"I think it's good. I have no problem with it. Especially in light of all the news these days," Harper said. "Everyone always says, 'Oh, it would never happen to us.' But you hear that constantly. I think that it never would and I always hope that it never would. But I know everyone in Florida was saying the same thing."

The board's discussion, including an item presented by board member Rachael Sedgwick regarding the policy against weapons in schools, comes in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting where 17 people were killed on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus.

This is the world in which Harper's sophomore daughter, Tate, has been indoctrinated since first stepping foot on the University High School grounds.

"It was a whole new experience," sophomore Tate Harper said. "I knew about how there were school shootings at colleges and high schools and stuff. Now that I'm at high school I'm more conscious of that."

It's why Sedgwick presented the Weapons In Schools item on the agenda, hoping the board will take some time to review it and make changes where necessary.

The governing board policy has not been updated since 2012, and has not been reviewed since 2013 by the then-superintendent.

"It's time for us to consider it. This is a good time since everyone is talking about guns in schools," she said.

Sedgwick said any policy changes and conversation are just getting started.

"We want to assure people. At least, in my mind, there is no magic bullet. There is no one thing that we can do. It's a process. We need to have systems in place. We need to be ready all the time and conscious," Sedgwick said.

Harper explained that she hopes educators see the warning signs and take threats seriously.

At Tuesday's meeting, Coleman explained the threat assessment plan the district has in place.

"Threats can originate from one person to another or, can be transmitted via social media and other electronic means. TUSD is implementing protocols for assessing and managing threats to school safety," the packet stated.

Harper applauded the fact that she's at least always informed with campus alerts by way of phone calls, text messages, or emails.

It's the world she'll accept, so long as the school does its part.

"I feel my children are safe," she said. "I really do. I mean, you have to just to send them out of the house every day."

Tuesday night's meeting was simply an informational presentation with only the board asking a few questions.

However, TUSD wants to hear from the public. They have scheduled two public forums on Wednesday, March 7, and Monday, March 12, to allow anyone to discuss school safety with law enforcement and education professionals.

According to a public posting on the TUSD website, the forums will address, "concerns regarding the gun violence that continues to occur on campuses across the United States, how the district prepares for emergencies, questions we receive when school threats occur, and how we engage local agencies threats before/during/after such instances."

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:30:32 GMT
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
  • Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:40:36 GMT

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday.  "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling, who runs the shop. Fireworks sparked her interest at an early age.   She started selling them when she was sixteen in ...

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday. "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling.

  • Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Friday, June 22 2018 9:53 PM EDT2018-06-23 01:53:32 GMT

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to help remove roughly 800 tags. Previous clean up trips by the group have already lifted approximately 750 tags, according to organizer Ray ...

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to he

Powered by Frankly