Higley district to install security cameras on high-school campuses - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Higley district to install security cameras on high-school campuses

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Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:24 am

Higley Unified School District will install security cameras at both district high schools following a series of incidents at Williams Field High School on Friday, the district’s superintendent said Tuesday.

Superintendent Denise Birdwell sent a letter out to parents via the district’s Web site addressing the pranks that took place on campus, including a food fight, a water balloon fight and damage to a building’s sprinkler head.

“We plan to install security cameras on both high school campuses. We will be reviewing discipline policies and procedures with teachers and administrators. We will provide training to all staff in the area of discipline. Our goal will be to have fair and consistent processes in place for next year,” the letter states.

The decision stems from three separate events that Friday. A food fight took place during first-period lunch. Students also threw water balloons and shaving cream in the school courtyard. And a sprinkler head was damaged on the second floor of the campus’ only two-story building, forcing classroom evacuation and causing drywall, ceiling and floor damage, Tony Malaj, executive director of educational support services and community partnerships, told the Tribune.

As of Tuesday, the district was still working with its insurance company to assess the damage. Repairs will take place after students leave for summer. Today is the last day of classes. Graduation will be held tonight.

The district will seek criminal charges against students who damaged the sprinkler head, Malaj told the Tribune. He did not disclose other consequences those students would face, though a letter sent to parents the day of the incident said seniors involved may not be able to take part in graduation ceremonies.

The letter from Birdwell on Tuesday evening also noted that the district will seek to recover monetary damages.

“Let me assure you that the individuals who are responsible for the vandalism will be dealt with through the Gilbert Police Department,” the letter states.

Regarding the “less offensive behaviors,” such as the silly string, water balloons and shaving cream, the letter states, “A few students have taken ownership for their actions and will be serving their appropriate consequences. We are handling these issues on an individual case by case process.”

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