Tanque Verde board meeting to address racism

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 10:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tanque Verde district is holding a special board meeting tomorrow to address overt racism in schools.

This comes just a few weeks after KOLD News 13 launched an investigation, when a biracial family came forward with the issue.

The district is holding this special meeting tomorrow, starting at 6, and a call to the public will be held.

Since the initial report, more families have come forward with their stories of rampant racism for years, with little or no effort to stop it.

Now the district is speeding up the process to address it.

The meeting notice states -- it’ll discuss our news coverage during the meeting, and ensure all students have a safe learning environment.

Previously, Pima County sheriff’s deputies arrested four juveniles, two of which were caught on camera spray-painting graffiti at Tanque Verde Elementary School. The graffiti included a swastika.

This took place months after high school football players were discovered making racial remarks in a group message.

The athletic director called them “highly offensive, disgusting and hateful.”

The board is expected to vote on a request to create an Extra-curricular Student Expectations Code.

One board member, Vieri Tenuta, said last week he believes the district has kept the board in the dark on the severity of the issue.

“We haven’t gotten an entire picture of the situation. And from my perspective, I don’t know that there’s ever a right case where we shouldn’t be aggressively attacking the issue from a perspective of understanding what the problems are, and then understanding what steps are necessary in order to resolve those issues, whether its training, or moving positions, or terminating people,” he said.

Some parents have called for two administrators to resign: the superintendent and assistant principal at Emily Gray Junior High. More families may make that request during the board meeting.

The superintendent has sent a district-wide statement that he has no intention of resigning.

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