Sunday, October 19, 2014



Note: the same school district where one of the idiots said: "if the children feel safe, they will be safe"

TUSD vote could kill cops-in-schools grant
18 hours ago • By Alexis Huicochea

Immigrant friendly district

This is not the first time TUSD has taken a stance on immigration issues. In March, the Governing Board unanimously declared TUSD an "Immigrant Friendly District." By doing so, the board pledged to help all students pursue a higher education regardless of immigration status.

In other business

TUSD will ask the Arizona Auditor General to conduct a full audit of its finances to review what was initially identified as a possible $15 million deficit for the upcoming school year. TUSD staff, however, presented a more optimistic picture Tuesday, saying it would carry forward about $14 million into the next school year.

Funding for a school resource officer program may be in jeopardy after the TUSD Governing Board approved an agreement prohibiting police from questioning students about immigration status under any circumstance.

The Tucson City Council was told last month that a full prohibition, like the one the district adopted, would be illegal and Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said he couldn't order his officers to break the law.

As a result, the council voted last month to restrict school resource officers from questioning a student over immigration status unless a parent, guardian or attorney was present and the inquiry was directly related to a criminal investigation.

TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez acknowledged the district's $2.2 million grant may be lost as a result of his recommendation, but he said it was made in consultation with the district's internal legal counsel in an effort to protect children, taking into consideration Plyler v. Doe — the U.S. Supreme Court case that guarantees equal access to public education to all children regardless of immigration status.

"If the City Council says it cannot support what we have put forth, as much as it will pain me, we will forgo the partnership because our primary role is to educate students, not enforce immigration law," Sanchez said on Wednesday. "It is not beneficial to TUSD at the expense of students feeling like they would be under the scrutiny of a law that Plyler v. Doe said should not be applicable in an educational setting."

Sanchez's recommendation was approved Tuesday with almost no discussion. TUSD Governing Board President Adelita Grijalva, Clerk Kristel Foster and members Cam Juarez and Mark Stegeman approved the agreement. Michael Hicks abstained from the vote.

City Attorney Mike Rankin said it's not an agreement if the TUSD board and City Council approved different provisions.

"There's no agreement until we can execute it using the same language," Rankin said.

The City Attorney's Office will now work on a compromise draft that both sides could agree on.
"We'll look at what they approved," Rankin said. "And to the extent it's different from what we had approved, it will require us to put it back on the agenda."

No time frame exists for a revised draft, but Rankin expected one could be ready by the city's Nov. 5 meeting.

The Arizona Department of Education could not comment Wednesday on how the district's decision would affect the grant funding, saying it needed to collect more information.

Both Rankin and Villaseñor have repeatedly advised the council that it can't order police officers to ignore state laws the council considers misguided, such as SB 1070.

But Councilwoman Regina Romero disagrees.
"The opinion of the chief of police and the city attorney is wrong," said Romero, who was the lone opposition vote on the council last month because the agreement didn't go far enough in prohibiting officers from ever questioning a juvenile.

Romero said legal precedence prohibits denying or deterring kids from seeking an education based on their immigration status.

A recent ACLU letter to the city urging the council to reconsider allowing school resource officers to question juveniles on immigration status referenced similar case law.
"I'm glad that the TUSD board understands the potential chilling effect this policy will have for parents and students," Romero said.

She said parents shouldn't have to worry their son or daughter could get deported while attending class.
"That fear should be completely eliminated."

While the SRO program is important, Romero said it's incumbent on the city and board to ensure students' rights aren't being violated.
"This has nothing to do with not wanting officers, but how it's implemented," she said.

Councilman Steve Kozachik disagreed, saying, "Neither the council or the board has the authority to tell the police they can't do that. We have to allow them the liberty to comply with the law when they're required to," he said. "It's just a shame that we're delaying getting these SROs back into the schools because some of the board and council members want to compel TPD to violate the law."

Unlike TUSD, the Amphitheater School District approved the language adopted by the city.

For TUSD, a $2.2 million, three-year grant from the Arizona Department of Education is at stake. The funds were to be used to place eight school resource officers in middle schools and high schools.

TUSD and Amphi originally passed agreements in September that made no mention of whether officers could question students about immigration status. It was not until those agreements reached the City Council that the debate began.

When it was first presented last month, Foster raised the immigration concern but was reassured school resource officers would be trained by TUSD to follow TUSD policies and to serve in a positive way, not as a policing presence.


Note: no we don't make this stuff up

Specialized training for Tucson Police officers

Posted: Oct 16, 2014 9:45 AM MST
Updated: Oct 16, 2014 9:45 AM MST
By Tucson News Now StaffCONNECT

Officers in training class (Source: Tucson News Now/Maria Hechanova)
Officers in training class (Source: Tucson News Now/Maria Hechanova)

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
Tucson Police officers are receiving some specialized training this week.

According to a recent release, TPD commanders received the 'Fair and Impartial Policing Perspective' training on Oct. 14, and now the officers are receiving the same training.

The class is being instructed by Dr. Lorie Fridell, an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida's College of Behavioral and Community Science. Dr. Fridell has more than 20 years of experience conducting research in the field of law enforcement and is known across the U.S. for her work on bias-based policing. Before Dr. Fridell joined the University of Southern Florida faculty, she spent six years as Director of Research at the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington D.C.

This specialized training was mandated by TPD Chief Roberto Villasenor, as part of the department's annual continuing training program. It reflects "a new and scientific approach to thinking about the issues of bias in modern policing; through voluminous research, scientists have determined that bias today is less likely to manifest as explicit bias (such as racism) and more likely to manifest as 'implicit bias.' Social psychologists have shown that 'implicit' or 'unconscious' bias can impact what people perceive and do, even in people who consciously hold non-prejudiced attitudes. Like explicit bias, implicit bias can produce discriminatory actions," according to the TPD release.

The training being held today is designed to make personnel aware of their implicit bias and to give them the tools to reduce and manage them.

Dr. Fridell will be training all TPD officers in this program over the next three days.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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