Guam – Guam DOE Administrator Dr. Nerissa Underwood has created an Education Response Team to address safety issues at Guam Schools.
The “Response Team” is being led by Acting FB Leon Guerrero Principal Erica Cruz and DOE Deputy Superintendent Arlene Unpingco, Okkodo High School Principal Kenneth Denusta and Benevente Middle school Principal Dexter Fullo.
During last weeks over site hearing on bullying, numerous complaints were heard from stakeholders at FB Leon Guerrero. As a result, Dr. Underwood reassigned Principal Ulric Mark and Vice Principal Milaflor Quitugua to the central office. Cruz has stepped in as interim principal.
Cruz told PNC News Tuesday that Underwood has asked her to help restore confidence at the troubled school. She explained that the role of the Education Response Team is to serve as “a set of eyes from the outside looking in and being able to see things that maybe the school community may not be seeing.”
Their input will be sued to develop an action plan that will be implemented at FB Leon Guerrero and other schools.
On Monday the Response Team held a faculty meeting, met with parents and student leaders to get an overall feeling with the community at FB. Cruz says they are still conducting interviews and hopes to give Underwood a preliminary report by Wednesday.
During last weeks over site hearing on bullying, parents also complained about a group of students who call themselves the “Outgaters” at FBLG. These students skip school, hide in the jungle on the other side of FB Leon Guerrero’s fence and sometimes throw rocks at other students who are in either gym class or recess.
The Chain linked fence has large sections cut out making it easy for students to leave the campus. A maze of trails zigzag beyond the fence line of FB Leon Guerrero. A playground carved out of the jungle by the outgaters. Tuesday the outgaters were not in the Jungle, maybe scared away by our cameras. But we found debris of clothes, school books and empty cans, which is clear evidence that is their hiding place. Cruz says she is currently addressing the concerns of the “Outgaters” problem.
Cruz is working closely with Yigo Mayor Robert Lizama to ensure that the situation with the kids skipping and going outside the gate is addressed . We are currently working on getting the fence fixed. I know yesterday the maintenance group is currently working on getting the fence fixed. But definitely its a community effort.
Lizama says, ” I’ve actually gone out to the business community to see if they can help clear the grounds and make it accessible for the faculty, police and school aides. And protecting the fence from being damaged or destroyed by the individuals who continue this act of mischief
Lizama’s office is waiting for DOE to provide them a map of FB Leon Guerrero’s boundaries, once they get that , the mayor’s office will assist DOE in clearing the land around the FB’s fence line.