LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In recent months, concerns have been raised about violence on Clark County School District (CCSD) campuses.
“The uptick in violence across the district and the country cannot continue,” Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara said in a CCSD briefing Tuesday morning.
Joined by District Attorney Steve Wolfson and community leaders, Dr. Jara outlined the new measures the district will implement to increase safety in valley schools. These include expulsions, single entry points, and ‘reset spaces’ to address students’ emotional and mental health issues.
Superintendent Jara announced that the Student Expulsion Review Board was reconvening as of today.
Jara stressed the role of the district is to steer efforts into re-engaging and rehabilitating students, “We also know that ‘zero tolerance does not work,” said Jara, noting students need to be re-engaged by their parents and guardians.
Jara explained students would be expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct and be clear on the consequences of violating it.
- Fighting on Campus:
- Any fights that lead to physical altercation will be added as “disciplinary infractions.”
- Any fight that results in a significant campus disruption will be considered a “major disciplinary infraction” and recommended expulsion from school.
- Major Disciplinary Infractions
- A student with a “major disciplinary infraction” will receive a recommendation for expulsion and be removed from the school campus, with an opportunity to re-engage
- Criminal Citations
- The battery of staff or students will result in a criminal citation
- The distribution of controlled substances will result in a criminal citation
- Firearms or Dangerous Weapons
- Possession of a firearm or any dangerous weapon will be referred to the Expulsion Review Board
- Expelled students will be referred to the following academic centers:
- Nevada Learning Academy
- The Lighthouse
- Acceleration Academy
“We must continue to provide a free and public education but not in our comprehensive schools,” said Jara.
SINGLE ENTRY POINTS
The district will also be enforcing single entry points at schools that will be funded over the next few weeks. Superintendent Jara noted in the meeting that addressing one point of entry and possibly fencing off exposed portables would be the priority.
“They are not the answer,” Jara said when asked if the installation of metal detectors could be a possibility in schools. He reminded those in attendance that the district will continue to do random searches with increased K9 units on campuses.
MENTAL HEALTH & EMOTIONAL ISSUES
“We know that our kids are struggling because of the stress, anxieties and isolation of the pandemic, but violence is not and will never be the answer,” added Jara.
Jara explained the district is working with elementary principals and reset centers to ensure students not only get the education they need but also support with their emotional issues so they can express them properly.
- Reset Spaces
- Will serve to deescalate and refocus behaviors and engage in restorative practices.
- Professional learning
- All staff will undergo training on emergency procedures and ensure they align with Student Code of Conduct
CCSD police Chief Mike Blackeye stated in the meeting that 25 firearms have been confiscated from students since the beginning of the school year, and over 1,000 citations and arrests have been logged on campuses since the beginning of 2022.
Chief Blackeye noted that a new addition to added school violence has been parents coming to campuses and committing acts of violence themselves.
He urged parents to talk to students about their social media, check their social media accounts, and have more discussions with their children about violence and mental health issues.