LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District has responded to two parents’ lawsuit where they said their high school-aged daughter was required to read an expletive-laced monologue, a piece of writing later deemed too obscene to read publicly at a school board meeting.
Candra Evans and Terrell Evans filed the lawsuit against the district, Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, the teacher and others over allegations of “unlawful grooming and abuse of a minor” involving the “pornographic material.”
The 15-year-old Las Vegas Academy of the Arts student’s name is not included in the lawsuit. However, Candra Evans publicly identified herself as the mother of the student during a May school board meeting when she brought her concerns to trustees during public comment.
“The CCSD defendants take the allegations in the complaint very seriously and school administrators met with Mrs. Evans on multiple occasions in an attempt to address her concerns,” lawyers for the district and Jara write in their response. “However, their good faith efforts have been demonized by the hyperbole and incendiary language utilized in the pleadings filed on behalf of plaintiffs.”
In March, the teacher assigned her class an assignment where each student would write a monologue and then perform another student’s writing, the parents’ lawsuit said. The monologue assigned to the student contained “contained explicit, obscene and sexually violent material,” the lawsuit said.
“[The teacher] helped the other student edit their obscenely violent pornographic monologue knowing that it would then be provided to another student to read, memorize and perform in front of the class,” the lawsuit said.
“The monologue was intended to be an expressive activity intended to further a student’s writing and acting experience,” lawyers for CCSD wrote in their response. “In the theatre classroom setting, there is an understanding that an actor does not necessarily have to accept or agree with the person they are portraying or the subject matter of the assignment.”
The final version of the monologue described a young woman telling her ex-boyfriend that she was a lesbian, the lawsuit said. The monologue, which the lawsuit alleges the teacher edited, read as follows:
“I don’t love you. It’s not you, it’s just (looks down) your d***. I don’t like your d*** or any d*** in that case. I cheated Joe. We were long distance and I’m in college and me and this girl, my roommate, started having some drinks and you know, I thought it was a one-time thing but then we started going out for coffee, and started sleeping in the same bed. I never thought it would get this far but God, it was like fireworks, and made me realize that with you it was always like a pencil sharpener that keeps getting jammed. I’ve tried to look at it from all different perspectives, but the truth is, I’m a f***** lesbian. I’ll never love you or any man, or any f****** d***. I hope you find a nice straight girl because that’s not me, and I’m tired of pretending that it is.”
“Students were advised on multiple occasions that if they were uncomfortable with the subject matter of a monologue, they had the option of choosing a different monologue to present to the class,” CCSD lawyers wrote in court documents.
Candra Evans became aware of the assignment in April 2022, the lawsuit said. She then went to the school and spoke with an administrator there about her concerns. The administrator then met with both Candra Evans and Terrell Evans about the assignment.
The parents also inquired with someone at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. That person said a report would need to be filed with Clark County School District Police. The parents allege a report was taken, but later falsified, the lawsuit said. In their response, CCSD lawyers said no crime was committed.
Lawyers for the district write in their response that “there is no allegation that [the student] found the monologue” offensive or “that [the student] expressed any reluctance or concerns about performing the same. There is no allegation that [the student] suffered any discomfort as a result of performing the monologue.”
In addition, CCSD claims Candra Evans found a written version of the monologue a month after the assignment, documents said.
“There are no allegations that [the student] expressed any concerns, discomfort, or misgivings about having performed the monologue to her mother,” lawyers for CCSD said.
Candra Evans then spoke at the CCSD Board of Trustees meeting on May 12.
“I am going to read you an assignment given to my 15-year-old daughter at a local high school,” Candra Evans said to the board. “This will be horrifying for me to read to you but that will give you perspective on how she must have felt when her teacher required her to memorize this and to act it out in front of her entire class.”
While reading the monologue, the microphone went silent, and she was asked to stop speaking.
“That you for your comment,” Trustee Evelyn Garcia Morales, who was leading the meeting, said. “Forgive me, we are not using profanity. This is a public meeting; I ask for decorum.”
“If you don’t want me to read it to you, what was it like for my 15-year-old daughter to have to memorize pornographic material,” Candra Evans said.
Jara then interjected, saying his administration was already addressing the assignment. A video of the meeting bleeps out several words in Candra Evans’ statement and blurs her mouth.
An unnamed CCSD trustee is alleged to have called the public comments a “publicity stunt,” claiming a parent group coached Candra Evans through the public comment. Candra Evans denies the claim in the lawsuit, documents said.
CCSD said the group, called Power2Parents, wrote in a blog post that the vice president of the organization “accompanied Candra to that board meeting and walked her through the process of testifying because she had never attended or testified at a public meeting before,” the lawsuit said.
Lawyers for the district claim the parents’ claims do not meet a legal standard for injunctive relief and say there was no irreparable harm.
CCSD lawyers also cite a Ninth Circuit ruling, which said in part, “’an educator can, consistent with the First Amendment, require that a student comply with the terms of an academic assignment’” and that an educator is not required to “change the assignment to suit the student’s opinion,” adding that the lawsuit fails to properly challenge the First and Fourteenth Amendments and Title XI.
The lawsuit, first filed in state district court, was moved to federal court.
CCSD officials do not comment on ongoing litigation. 8 News Now previously asked the attorney for Candra Evans and Terrell Evans for an on-camera interview.