Parent barges into classroom, flips desk and verbally attacks CCSD teacher as students watch
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A parent barged into a classroom and verbally attacked a teacher at Legacy High School earlier this month, according to Clark County School District officials.
In an exclusive interview with FOX5, that teacher said the mother intruded on his class, shouted obscenities and homophobic slurs and even flipped a desk during what he described as a harrowing 15-minute time window before security arrived to escort her out.
He said there were 37 students in the classroom taking witness to the berating and belittling of their teacher.
“I felt like we were hostage in my own classroom. The students were scared, I was scared, I was shell-shocked,” said Dr. Dwane Martinson, a longtime teacher at Legacy High School. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Martinson, a teacher of freshmen-level Health and Drivers Ed said, on May 12, he was simply doing his job when the intrusion happened.
“I’m teaching my eighth period class, and this woman, like, barges into my room and starts using profanity towards me,” said Martinson. “She wrote on my whiteboard all these horrible words, like, took control of my room. Literally kept us at bay for 15 minutes, hostage. Like, telling the kids to call the school board and get me fired, and to report me for being a bully and a coward and a pedophile and all this crazy stuff. All this craziness.”
He said he does not know where the claims and angry accusations were derived from. He said he had little interaction with the mother prior to the incident.
“And I just sat there in shock, going, ‘First of all, how did you get in here?’ And I asked her, I said, ‘If you’re a parent, you need to go to the office and get a visitors badge.’ And she goes, ‘No I don’t. I’m a parent and I don’t need one.’”
He said he called the front receptionist for help, who said they would send someone, but while waiting, the situation got violent.
“The parent picked up the desk and threw it up, and hit one of my students,” Martinson said.
So he tried another method: an in-class call button for emergencies. Eventually, administrators and campus monitors and police came to escort the woman out, but not until 15 minutes after her arrival, according to Martinson. He said his classroom is situated far away from the front office.
“I felt really embarrassed that that happened, because I felt like I didn’t keep my kids safe, and that’s what bothers me. I’m heartbroken about that. Because what happens-- and God help us if that ever happens -- what happens if that lady has a gun? How am I going to protect my kids?” Martinson said.
Legacy is a school made up of nearly 3,000 students. Martinson said, they have more than 20 campus entrances and only five campus monitors.
We reached out to CCSD’s Communications Office about the attack, and we asked how she was able to surpass security and get into the classroom.
They wrote back condemning the mother’s actions, but confirming the incident.
“CCSD is aware of a classroom disruption [during the week of May 9] at Legacy High School involving a parent. The verbal attack is unacceptable. Every member of the community will be held accountable for their actions on CCSD campuses and the district will pursue legal action against anyone who threatens the safety of students or employees,” the district’s Communications team wrote.
Martinson said the experience traumatized him.
“Go to my boss! Schedule an appointment. You don’t just barge into a room,” Martinson said.
CCSD Chief of Police Henry Blackeye recently stated that parent-related incidents of violence have been on the rise this school year.
On April 12, Blackeye and Superintendent Jesus Jara announced they planned to configure all campuses to one point of entry, increase police presence on campuses, implement panic buttons for teachers and upgrade security cameras.
Meanwhile, nearly six weeks later, Martinson said not all of these measures have been implemented, at least on his campus. It’s worth noting Legacy has a recent history of assaults on campus. Earlier in the semester, a secretary at the school was brutally attacked by a student.
Martinson said he chose not to physically remove the teacher during the incident because he didn’t want to set an example of violence in front of his students.
He said the student who was hit by the flipped desk is doing okay.
The parent was cited for trespassing, according to Martinson. He added that law enforcement officials indicated to him that she could even face a child endangerment charge as well.
He said he was also told by his principal, Belinda Marentic, that appropriate actions are being taken to address the parent’s behavior and that the safety and security of students and staff remains her top focus.
Last month, Chief Blackeye told media that he was worried CCSD would continue seeing turmoil on campuses as we near the end of the school year. He said, historically-speaking, violent incidents often increase during this time of the academic year.
So when exactly can CCSD families expect the security enhancements to be implemented in schools?
CCSD’s Communications Office worked to answer our question Monday, writing in part, “The process will take time as departments work together to evaluate the needs of each campus. In the meantime, CCSD Police and area law enforcement agencies are working together to increase police presence on secondary school campuses. Details regarding some of these upgrades will not be disclosed except to those who need to know.”
The spokesperson continued, “Security experts advise keeping exact procedures confidential to prevent people from planning ways to circumvent the security measures. While we would like to disclose security details so that our parents, students, and staff members feel more assured, doing so would allow those who intend to cause harm an advantage.”
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