LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It was a packed house Thursday night at the CCSD Board of Trustees meeting, where the evaluation for Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara was held. Despite the intent of the event, many came to talk about the new principal at Clark High School.
“Mr. Rael’s changes have significantly harmed the school environment at Clark High,” said sophomore Naomi Kiel. “Teachers feel they’re micromanaged. Students and staff feel they’re treated without respect.”
The high emotions carried over to school on Friday. 8 News Now spoke with parents and students about the concerns that range from new policies to how Principal Antonio Rael addresses students.
Junior Sophia Adams said there is “a lot of animosity, a lot of polarization” on campus.
“The culture here at Clark is definitely different and more tense than it used to be,” revealed Adams. She said changes by Rael appear to undermine the magnet program.
“If you go to school here, you can take those classes. Nobody in the administration is going to stop you if you’re qualified.”
Parent Steven Mason weighed in on the situation, saying, “He believes incorrectly that there is a war, a class war, between the neighborhood kids and the magnet kids.”
Others took concern with how he addresses and interacts with students. Some said he’s called boys “bosses” and used belittling terms for the girls.
“He used to call a lot of girls “princess,” and he’s pat me on the head and shoulder before,” said junior Lucy Berger.
Many also took issue with his first line written on a dress code card for homecoming: “From your chest to your thighs, keep it in disguise.” At one point, the line was also seen on posters around the school.
It prompted a sophomore to write a letter to CCSD administrators in the fall.
“I don’t understand how a line like that was able to be printed,” said Adams.
Others said policies in place create a hostile learning environment, not only for students, but educators, as well. Adams said some teachers feel like they’re “walking on eggshells.”
Some also criticize the new tardy policy in place.
Before coming to Clark, Rael was a school associate superintendent and a principal at Mojave High School. The teacher’s union acknowledged several educators have filed complaints against him.
A CCSD spokesperson said two assistant principals, one magnet coordinator and two school counselors have transferred from the campus for other opportunities in the district this school year. The assistant principal positions have been filled, two counselors are anticipated to start this month, and the magnet coordinator position is posted.
At the trustees meeting, Superintendent Jara acknowledged he’s received emails about the issues. He plans to send a team to the campus on Monday.
8 News Now reached out to Rael, but he has not responded to our request for a comment.