CCSD, CCEA announce ‘enhanced school safety measures’ after Las Vegas teacher attacked by student

CCSD lays out plans to enhance school safety.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 2:54 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - After police say a Clark County School District student sexually assaulted and attempted to murder an Eldorado High School teacher last Thursday, education leaders convened Tuesday afternoon to announce “enhanced school safety measures” at a press conference.

Reminding students and families of the zero-tolerance policy they have toward violence, CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara and Trustee Evelyn Morales joined teachers union president Marie Neisess of Clark County Education Association and others to sternly address the community and discuss “the updated safety measures” being taken.

Chief Henry Blackeye of CCSDPD said they have asked law enforcement partners to show an increased presence in and around CCSD schools until the end of our school year, with the anticipation that the increased presence will curb violence in our schools.

Jara said some schools will see a stronger presence than others, based on the CCSDPD data showing where the violence is most frequently happening.

Additionally, Jara said they will implement a technology similar to panic buttons in classrooms. The panic device will be wearable on a lanyard and will have bluetooth capabilities, according to district leaders. The device will alert first responders’ dispatch.

“Classrooms communications systems and technology will be updated, where instantaneous alerts-- where adults, teachers and staff will be able to contact staff and first responders from anywhere in their location,” said Jara.

Jara also said they plan to upgrade campus security cameras.

“The cameras, they’re outdated. And we’re going to find the resources within the Clark County school district to protect our employees.”

Many speakers used the opportunity of Tuesday’s conference to encourage parent intervention and communication.

“We need the participation of parents and the community. If you see something, say something,” said ESEA President Jan Giles, a union representing support staff.

Separately, Neisess also said she spoke with the Eldorado teacher who was injured in the attack. According to Neisess, the teacher wants the public to know that the narrative that has come out about the student coming to her classroom speak about his grade and an argument ensuing is “not true.”

She said the teacher wants to make it known that she was the one and only victim in this attack, and that she believes the student came to her classroom with the specific intention of attacking her.

The conference comes after months of intensifying violence on CCSD school campuses, according to county officials.

“We have seen not an increase of calls, but an increase of the violence, a lack of empathy, and a lack of respect to our adult authority,” said Brigid Duffy, Director of the Juvenile Division with the Clark County District Attorney.

Blackeye said CCSD has now seen 1,300 combined incidents this school year where arrests or citations happened in CCSD schools. He said a total of 28 guns have now been confiscated on campuses this school year.

The DA’s office reiterated their seriousness toward prosecuting violent offenders.

“In the case of the young man from Eldorado High School, he’s sent to the adult system to face consequences,” said Duffy.

Neisess indicated that she feels the state of Nevada and its lawmakers are partly to blame for not addressing the school violence.

“The state needs to fund all schools with the resources to improve our mental health programs for our staff and students,” said Neisess.

Trustee Morales took the time to plead for action from parents.

“Our hearts are extraordinarily heavy,” said Morales, in reference to the teacher who was attacked. She added, “I implore our parents to talk to our children. Please be in their lives and communicate with them.”

The press conference was held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the CCSD Administrative Center on 5100 W Sahara Ave. It was announced shortly after teachers’ intentions to protest the district’s approach to school violence mitigation were made public.

For days, several CCSD teachers have told FOX5 about their intent to protest Wednesday morning in front of the same building where the press conference was held, on Sahara. A Facebook event invitation shows that roughly 350 people are interested in attending.

The organizer, Vicki Kreidel of the NEA of Southern Nevada, said the protest will still go on as planned Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Check back with FOX5 for updates.