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This Phoenix school leader didn’t wait for Ducey’s COVID metrics. Why he delayed classes a month ago.

Phoenix Union superintendent faces unique challenges at his 21 high schools: ‘health and racism pandemics’

Arizona students might not be back in classrooms for several weeks under new coronavirus metrics.

Phoenix Union High School Superintendent Chad Gestson didn’t wait around for the metrics to guide his decision. 

Gestson announced in early July that Phoenix Union’s 27,000 students wouldn’t be back on campus until October at the earliest. 

Last week, Phoenix Union students began their school year learning remotely. 

On this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off,” Geston talks about dealing with the unique challenges facing a high school district that takes in some of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 and whose students count on school for basic needs, like meals. 

For Gestson, it’s meant dealing with what he calls the “two pandemics” - coronavirus and racism, in the wake of the protests of George Floyd’s killing by a police officer.

Geston also explains why the district suspended its contract with the Phoenix Police Department for school resource officers on campus. 

“Sunday Square Off” airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.