School violence not reported, former school cop says - 8 News NOW

School violence not reported, former school cop says

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LAS VEGAS -- A former Clark County School District Police Department sergeant says some Clark County school administrators have purposely not reported cases of violence and potential criminal activities by students, all to protect their own campus reputation.

His claims come in light of the recent case of a fight at Mike O'Callaghan Middle School that landed one student in the hospital.

Phillip Gervasi served on the Clark County School District Police force for 20 years. He says what he saw during that time "concerns" him, and parents need to put power into their hands when it comes to protecting their children.

From 1992 to 2012, Gervasi worked to keep students safe, but he says reports of potential crimes on campus didn't always make it to his department.

"The schools don't want to get a bad reputation," Gervasi said.

In an exclusive interview with 8 News NOW, Gervasi says certain school principals and other administrators over the years failed to report incidents ranging from fights to bullying to weapons found on campus, all to avoid being deemed a "dangerous" school by the district.

"The only way the school district police would find out is if the parents would make a call to dispatch and tell dispatchers what is going on at the school and that is how we would find out," Gervasi said.

This comes as some parents are raising concerns about CCSD's protocol, when it comes to preventing and reporting fights on campus.

Fights like the one at O'Callaghan Middle School last Wednesday which landed a female student in the hospital.

"They need to start holding these kids accountable for their actions," parent James Hensley said.

Hensley says his 15-year-old son, seen in this video, was attacked by another student at Desert Oasis High School back in January.

However, it wasn't until he contacted school police and the District Attorney's Office directly that the offender was arrested.

"The way the school handled it. I would give them an F. They failed," Hensley said.

Gervasi says parents should still report fights or any other problems to school administrators, but they can also call the school police directly to get their voices heard.

"We are required by law to handle each case. The parents have the upper hand because they could dial that number. Once they dial that number it is out of the administrators' hands," Gervasi said.

CCSD sent the following statement:

"The safety of students is our first priority. The district encourages parents and students to promptly report any concerns they have to school administrators. School administrators take concerns from students and parents seriously and look into these matters."

8 News NOW also talked with Captain Ken Young, the current spokesman for the CCSD police department. He says parents can call his office anytime, but they should first contact school administrators.

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Parents want answers in O'Callaghan Middle School fight

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