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Tucson USD superintendent discusses Texas school shooting, security for upcoming graduations

Dr. Gabriel Trujillo said district will provide additional support for students, parents
Tucson Unified School District
Tucson Unified School District(Tucson Unified School District)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 11:50 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One day after a school shooting in Texas left at least 19 students and two teachers dead, the superintendent of southern Arizona’s largest district issued a statement.

Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo sent a letter to parents Wednesday, May 25, about the district’s security measures as well as offering additional support.

With most TUSD schools hosting graduation ceremonies Wednesday and Thursday, Trujillo said it will have school safety officers at the events along with local law enforcement.

“To ensure a safe and celebratory graduation season for our graduates and their families, our TUSD School Safety Department will deploy its officers and all available resources necessary to maintain a visible presence at all of our high school graduation ceremonies,” he said. “We will continue to maintain an open line of communication with both the Tucson Police Department and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to share intelligence and will continue to monitor incidents across the country.”

The district’s governing board will review its emergency and safety plans at a meeting in June, according to Trujillo.

Trujillo also said that the district will provide additional support for its parents and students.

“As yesterday’s mass shooting in Texas and the events of the last few weeks have shocked, saddened, and traumatized many across the nation, if you, your child, or student want additional support or would like to speak to a someone, our counselors will be available on campus, or your child can reach out through our Tucson Unified Connect App and use Talk Space to connect with professional support 24 hours a day.”

Trujillo’s full statement is below.

Dear TUSD Community

On this graduation day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of thousands of Tucson Unified graduates who will be walking across the stage this evening, we find ourselves heartbroken once again by a horrific act of violence in a place that is supposed to be the embodiment of peace, safety, and protection for children, school. As our nation continues to grapple with the plague of unchecked gun violence that in the last ten days has claimed the lives of churchgoers in Laguna Woods, California, innocent shoppers in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and now innocent children in Uvalde, Texas, I would like 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.

The Tucson Unified School District is the only district in the state of Arizona that has its own School Safety Department. Our School Safety Officers work collaboratively with our campus principals to develop emergency response protocols, crisis plans, and to conduct crisis and lockdown practice drills on all district campuses each year. As a response to this national tragedy, we will be reviewing our safety protocols this summer and adjusting them accordingly. To address the anxiety and the fear that many in our community are experiencing, our team will be reviewing the emergency response protocols and safety measures we have in place to protect our students and staff at an upcoming June board meeting.

To ensure a safe and celebratory graduation season for our graduates and their families, our TUSD School Safety Department will deploy its officers and all available resources necessary to maintain a visible presence at all of our high school graduation ceremonies. Our local law enforcement partners from the Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sherriff’s Department will also maintain a visible presence at most ceremonies. We will continue to maintain an open line of communication with both the Tucson Police Department and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to share intelligence and will continue to monitor incidents across the country.

As yesterday’s mass shooting in Texas and the events of the last few weeks have shocked, saddened, and traumatized many across the nation, if you, your child, or student want additional support or would like to speak to a someone, our counselors will be available on campus, or your child can reach out through our Tucson Unified Connect App and use Talk Space to connect with professional support 24 hours a day.

Thank you for your continued support of our Tucson Unified community, each other, and the children and young people you love and protect across our district. Have a safe and relaxing summer.

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