Combating Violence

Superintendent Galaviz Dear Canutillo Community,

The District last week was impacted by a rash of student fights as well as unsubstantiated threats of violence that left many parents, students and community members concerned about safety and security in our schools. I fully understand the dozens and dozens of calls I personally received about these issues and I want to reassure you that we are taking these very seriously.

The CISD Team, including the administration at Canutillo High School and the CISD Safety & Security Department, continue to work around the clock to strengthen our safety protocols and to create accountability both internally and externally for the incidents that occurred last week.

In the meantime, I want to update you on some of the results from our investigation into the fights and other illegal activity surrounding the perceived violence at Canutillo High School. To date, there have been 12 arrests by either the CISD Police or the El Paso Police Department in connection with on- and off-campus activity.

The District police arrested three juveniles on campus and charged them with misdemeanor Assault. It’s worth noting that these arrests have no connection whatsoever to gang activity and are incidents involving student disagreements.

Additionally, our police department cooperated with El Paso PD to make nine arrests in relation to off-campus activity. These individuals (five adults and four juveniles) face criminal charges of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity/Assault. These individuals, none of whom were arrested on campus, have been entered into the Texas Gang Database

Administratively, Canutillo High School has suspended a total of 17 students involved in on-campus fighting. These students have been either reassigned to our alternative school program (DAEP) or have been asked to return to their home school districts because they were in Canutillo ISD schools as transfer students.

All students involved in these incidents have been forbidden from contacting current Canutillo High School students and they have been barred from attending school-sponsored activities.

As you can see, we have been busy responding to the incidents from last week and our work is not yet done. We will continue to concentrate on the safety and security of our students and staff because we know effective teaching and learning can’t happen if our students and educators do not feel safe in school.

Before going into the Fall Break, I want to take the time to extend my most sincere condolences on behalf of the entire school district to Trustee Blanca Trout and her family for the passing of her husband, Edward Albert Trout. Mr. Trout was an outstanding member of the Canutillo Community and a decorated veteran who made a huge difference in our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Trout Family.

Have a safe and restful fall break, everyone.

Pedro Galaviz
Superintendent of Schools