On October 18, teachers in the Tucson Unified School District contacted the Arizona Daily independent due to messages they had received on their District computers. One teacher reported that she was trying to pull up an article by popular nature write Jonathan DuHamel for class preparation she was denied access to the Arizona Daily Independent.
According to teachers, any computer using the TUSD portal is restricted from accessing the Arizona Daily Independent, which means no TUSD employees or students can log on to the ADI from any of the district computers. One teacher told the ADI that the site had been “available on Thursday, and has been ever since the ADI came into existence.”
The District technology center, advised the teacher that Cisco ironPort Web Reputation Filters has detected that https://arizonadailyindependent.com/ “is now one of the sites hit by malware and cannot be opened back up because of the malware threat. TUSD’s IT Department cannot do anything to open it back up, so ADI has become the forbidden zone.”
In response, the ADI contracted the emergency services of internet experts this weekend to confirm or refute the District’s claims about security. According to the experts, the ADI site is free of viruses, spyware, or any other malicious forces. The ADI has a SSL certificate. The SSL Certificate ensures readers that the site conducts secure sessions with browsers. SSL tells the server to establish a secure connection with the browser. “Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure, according to Global Sign.
Unlike the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star, the ADI does not capture data from readers or allow pop ups or embedded ads in content. Unlike BlogforArizona, the ADI allows its readers to remain anonymous, and protects their privacy while blocking malicious software.
It would appear that the malicious forces are in the TUSD administration, and not on ADI’s servers. According to sources, TUSD Superintendent Sanchez is reportedly irate over an article published in the ADI last week: How TUSD achieved miraculous budget recovery. In that article, the sweeping of funds from the classroom to administrative offices is exposed. Most damaging however, is the fact that administrators report shifting Title 1 and desegregation funds to administrative coffers through journal entries.
Sanchez has begun a witch hunt in the District to determine which staff members are guilty of revealing the truth about his and Board president Adelita Grijalva’s questionable spending and hiring practices. With Election Day nearing, it is imperative that Sanchez preserves Grijalva’s position on the board. Should Grijalva lose and fellow board member Michael Hicks keep his spot, it is likely that the internal auditor would be hired. Both Hicks and board member Mark Stegeman have fought for an internal auditor for the past several months, but as the minority members on the board they have been unsuccessful in that fight.
One veteran educator asked ADI “why TUSD, with all the supposed efforts being made to attract and retain the great educators students deserve is still advertising for 180 openings on its website. By this time in the school year, most school districts have filled all their openings. Maybe the Pima County Democratic Party, who profess to support public education, should be demanding to know why TUSD, with all its resources, is spending millions to create and fill five new central administrative positions and spending millions more on an Early Learning Center (daycare) for staff instead of using those resources to hire the teachers TUSD students need. Or, are they planning on leaving these positions unfilled to use the money they save from not hiring needed full-time teaching staff in order to backfill the hole in the budget they claim does not exist?”