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Parent slams CCSD’s internal response to teacher lewdness arrest

Parents are not happy about what they consider is a lack of communication from CCSD.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 7:36 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Clark County School District teacher was arrested last Wednesday on two counts of lewdness with a child charges.

A parent of a student in that teacher’s classroom is sharing her outrage, specifically on how the district and administrators handled outreach to exposed families. Meanwhile, the district is coming to their own defense.

63-year-old Alfredo Caracena was a special education teacher at Walter Bracken Steam Academy, an elementary school, since 2018. That is, until last week, when he was put behind bars in the Clark County Detention Center in connection with these lewdness charges.

“It was shock, it was horror,” said Kristina Huddleston, whose son, a ten-year-old boy with autism, was in Caracena’s class.

Prior to his arrest, the special education students who trusted him called him “Mr. Fred,” according to Huddleston.

Huddleston said she first found out about the accusations via news outlets.

“On [FOX5′s] website, it was a picture of Mr. Fred, and he’s been arrested, and just like, the pit of my stomach. Because it was just all the times that he’d been alone with my son.”

Earlier that afternoon, Walter Bracken Principal Stanica Sretenovic had sent out an email to parents, reading, “As always, we want to keep you informed of important issues happening within our school community. We would like to inform you that an employee assigned to our school has been arrested for lewdness with a child. He is no longer employed by the district. Please know that this is a police investigation and, as school officials, we do not have additional information to share.”

The press release came from district officials shortly after, where police identified the man accused. Shortly after, our article was published.

Huddleston said district leaders’ outreach to potentially exposed families, like hers ended there.

“We didn’t get, ‘Hey, please talk to your children, because we had this incident happened. I get that there are rights of the accused, and so you can’t be detail-oriented, but you can talk to parents about how they can talk to their children about what happened.”

Huddleston said, thankfully, she believes her son has not been a victim of lewdness at the school, but she said the families exposed to this suspect were not offered any extra support, workshops or counseling check-ins.

Huddleston, a mental health professional herself said she believes parents need to be informed on how to talk to their children about how to recognize grooming or inappropriate touching or conversation. She worries there are other victims out there.

“If you think that children are just going to come up to you, and be like, ‘Yes, this very scary thing with a person I trusted happened to me,’ that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

FOX5 requested to interview Principal Sretenovic about this, but the district’s communications office instead told us, “The parent message was sent in an effort, by school administration and the district, to be transparent with the parents and guardians. As always, additional resources are available to any students should they or their parents reach out to the school.”

Caracena is no longer employed with the district. His incarceration stemmed from an investigation during the week prior to his arrest, police said.