LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District spent millions on upgrading its school bus camera system, yet data shows violence on buses for the 2022-2023 school year is on track to eclipse the previous year’s incidents.
8 News Now received three years of data through a public records request.
For the 2018-2019 school year, there were 33 school bus incidents listed as involving weapons; 1,320 as fighting; 1,522 as assault physical/verbal; and 883 as harassment.
There was a drop in all incidents for the 2021-2022 school year with 19 categorized as involving weapons; 963 as fighting; 1,011 as assault physical/verbal; and 519 as harassment.
CCSD has 2000 school buses transporting around 120,000 kids daily.
Data from the start of the 2022-2023 school year in August to mid-March showed that numbers for incidents are trending upwards. So far, there are 20 school bus incidents listed as involving weapons; 883 as fighting; 1,006 as assault physical/verbal; 507 as harassment.
Michael Cain and Bradley Myers of the 702 Firm are representing the family of Vincent Brown, a fourth grader who was allegedly attacked on his way to the Variety School in November of 2022.
“When you have a special needs student that gets abused by the bus driver who is supposed to be protecting and looking for the kids, I think anyone is compelled by that story,” Myers said.
Brown has autism and is non-verbal.
Dorys Tovar was arrested by CCSD police and is facing one count of child abuse/neglect. According to court documents, Tovar struck the 9-year-old student in the face, body, limbs, torso, and extremities.
“When you’re dealing with a special needs student or child, especially one who is non-verbal, the long-term ramifications of an incident like this. Assault and battery are really unknown,” Michael Cain.
Brown’s lawyers allege he was subjected to physical and psychological abuse.
“We have to investigate and find out if there’s any sort of systemic problem within the school, are these incidents in any way related to a lack of training? A lack of supervision,” Myers said.
Tovar is currently on unpaid leave, she’s been with the district since 1998.
The district has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation. Below is a statement CCSD provided on its school bus camera upgrades:
“CCSD has video cameras on all buses to protect students. The upgrades allow for more efficient video storage and real-time monitoring capabilities by CCSD Transportation Investigators.
Camera equipment is regularly audited to ensure it is properly functioning. Video is reviewed to ensure compliance with District policies as well as anytime there is a reported incident on a bus.”