CCSD: 1 in 4 high school students don’t feel safe, 39% of student chronically absent

Only weeks now until the end of the school year and the CCSD Board of Trustee met Thursday to address school safety.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:01 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Only weeks now until the end of the school year and the CCSD Board of Trustee met Thursday to address school safety, chronic absenteeism among students, and adding counseling services at some schools. Teachers and parents addressed other concerns including the critical teacher shortage and sex education.

“We are not respected. We are ignored and asked to do more and still more without fair compensation. This is probably one of the most important reasons why CCSD employees are leaving in droves… there are over 2,000 employee vacancies in CCSD right now,” shared CCSD employee Autumn Tampa.

Concerns about the teacher shortage were directly related to this issue of school safety and student behavior.

“All behavior is learned and if they feel like they can throw a chair and get away with it, what is the next student going to do?,” questioned Ed Gonzales, a member of a School Organizational Team.

In a district wide survey of students conducted from November to December, one out of four high school students said they did not feel safe at CCSD schools. Students consistently reported they felt safer during at home learning.

The district outlined plans to change the perception of unsafe schools including reemphasizing the code of conduct to all students and planned meetings this summer with school leaders.

CCSD is also dealing with the problem of chronic absenteeism, students who are absent ten percent or more of school days.

“The data shows that we are continuing to see increases in our chronic absenteeism essentially across the board,” said Assistant Superintendent John Anzelone.

As of March, 39 percent of students in CCSD have been chronically absent this school year.

“Absenteeism has not suddenly popped up in our district. It has been an issue and has only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” stated Kamilah Bywaters, and educator and parent.

Sex education was also a controversial topic.

“I am going to give you an assignment given to my 15-year-old daughter at a local high school. This will be horrifying for me to read to you but that will give your perspective on how she must have felt when her teacher required her to memorize this and to act it out in front of her entire class,” said Kandra Evans, mother of a CCSD student.

The mother’s mic cut off after she started to read the passage...

The Superintendent then intervened and said the incident was being addressed.

“Staff is on this. We can have the Regent Superintendent speak to her,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara.

CCSD Trustees also voted to approve a contract with United Citizens Foundation for school based behavioral health services. The district will pay up $175,000 per school for their counseling program at up to 15 new schools. The non-profit group is already in some CCSD schools offering counseling to students.