The Investigators

Nov 1, 2013 8:00 PM by Matthew Schwartz

News 4 Tucson Investigators: Some teachers are outraged

The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned that Chris Bonn, the former Sahauro High School principal charged in September with beating up a 16 year-old, has a new job. He's been transferred to Tucson School District Headquarters.

Bonn's title is Special Projects Administrator in the Exceptional Education Department. He works on curriculum and course catalogs, among other duties, according to a TUSD spokesperson. He's been in his new position since Oct. 14.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators made a public records request for Bonn's job information, and for his salary. It is the same as he made as a principal, $90,708.33.

Some Tucson school teachers are angry that Bonn still has a job at all. They say if a teacher had been charged in an assault, he or she would be out the door.

While individual teachers wouldn't talk on-camera, Frances Bonales, the President of the Tucson Education Association, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "There are some rank and file that are very upset that he was not terminated. If this is how they're going to behave with one member, or one employee, then we expect that same treatment for all."

The 40 year-old Bonn pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault for allegedly roughing-up Ramon Morales, Jr. on Sept. 2nd. The 16 year-old Morales was dating Bonn's 17 year-old stepdaughter, and Bonn reportedly did not like Morales. The incident happened outside Bonn's house, when Bonn allegedly punched Morales in the face several times, leaving him bloodied and ending in a trip for Morales to the emergency room. Bonn was furious when Morales got his stepdaughter home at around 4:30 a.m. that day. Bonn has said he thought Morales had a gun in the car.

Bonn also knew Morales from when Bonn was the principal at Santa Rita High School, where Morales is a student.

TUSD officials declined to speak with the News 4 Tucson Investigators on-camera, but in a statement said:

"TUSD protocols are being followed in regards to how incidents involving district employees are handled. There are not different standards for administrators and teachers or other district employees. All are subject to the same procedures while issues are reviewed and investigated. Dr. Bonn has a background in exceptional education and has been assigned to that department to do meaningful work in curriculum during this process. The same has held true for teachers and others when such a process was warranted. It is incorrect to state that there is inequity in this process."

Governing Board member Michael Hicks told us that Bonn is innocent until proven guilty. Hicks said, "We should not be going around firing people because they're accused of doing something. As far as I'm concerned, until he's convicted of it, I'm not going to make any decisions."

The News 4 Tucson Investigators requested an interview with Dr. Bonn, but he and his attorney, Brad Roach, did not return repeated calls.

Ramon Morales' family also declined to comment, on the advice of their lawyer, Jessi Smith.

A source tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators that Smith is negotiating with Bonn's attorney to avoid a civil suit by reaching a settlement.


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