Phoenix Union district asks for public input on campus security options

High School District set to host listening sessions with students, families in December, January & February
The PXU Governing Board Student Safety Committee says it hopes to create a conducive, safer learning environment for students and staff members.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 12:56 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 9:24 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Phoenix Union High School has announced it will be hosting in-person meetings with students and their families, staff, and community members regarding the existing campus law enforcement presence.

The PXU Governing Board Student Safety Committee says it hopes to create a conducive, safer learning environment for students and staff members. The first session will be held on Saturday at Central High School from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. You can register to attend the session here. Two future sessions will be Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, at Betty Fairfax High School from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.. Again on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, starting at 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Translation services will be available at every session.

Chair Gipson McLean said, “As the Student Safety Committee prepares to make recommendations to the Governing Board related to law enforcement and police presence on campus, we want to hear from our students, their families, our staff, and our community to let us know what safety means to them in their school, work, and our community.”

Arizona’s Family reported in 2021 that the school board decided to end their contracts with police departments that provide school resource officers (SROs). Various community members questioned the committee’s decision after the Michigan school shooting and the Cesar Chavez High School shooting, a district school.

During a 2021 interview, Aaron Marquez, then Phoenix Union board member, said he did not believe that SROs on campus would be the solution to prevent school shootings. His plan was to use the money to hire more counselors to help with students’ mental health. Arizona has had 12 school shootings since 1970.

PXU covers around 220 square miles and serves around 28,000 students in grades 9-12. There are 23 schools in the district, employs more than 3,100 employees and boasts multiple magnet programs including marine science, international baccalaureate, global studies, and more.

clarification: This story is updated to clarify the position of Phoenix Union High School District's board members that this meeting is not solely about the option of bringing back School Resource Officers.