This week, the Clark County School Board of Trustees will see a presentation on CCSD’s communication protocol for school threats.
The presentation comes at the request of one of the trustee, and it’s just for informational purposes. According to CCSD, there will not be any changes to the protocol, but parents say there’s still room for improvement.
Sandra Salas has three children attending CCSD schools. According to Salas, there have been times she has received information about incidents at her kids’ schools, but that always hasn’t been the case.
“They have sent out a voicemail when my daughter was going to another school, my youngest daughter but just recently she had a lockdown at her school and they actually didn’t let us know,” Salas said.
8 News NOW asked the school district how it decides whether or not to send out a notification to parents when something happens including, guns on campuses, attempted abductions, lockdowns due to police activity in the area, and death of a student or staff member, among others.
CCSD Communications Director Melinda Malone said, “We like to air on the side of caution, so we typically will report any threats or anything that’s a major campus disturbance to parents.”
Malone says their priority is to provide timely and accurate information through phone messages and parent link.
“We want to be as quick as we can, but the accuracy is the most important, Malone said. “Parents want to get the correct information.”
The process of getting information out begins with obtaining information through a school administrator, Safe Voice, students, or parents.
Eventually, the message makes its way to supervisors, district leadership, and trustees. The school leader or department head then works with the communications office to determine if parents need to be notified.
“I think parents want to hear from us directly before they hear it from other places, so that’s our goal to get it to parents first before they have to hear it on TV or on the news or on social media,” Malone said.
Malone says federal privacy laws do not allow CCSD to release a lot of information about some incidents on campus, and she understands, it may be frustrating to parents like Salas.
“I mean, it’s not the best, that’s for sure,” Salas said.
According to Malone, CCSD doesn’t release information to news outlets until after parents are notified.
The presentation will go before trustees on Thursday. The board meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the CCSD building on Flamingo, near McLeod.