CCSD superintendent refuses to discuss police incident near Durango High after telling media ‘happy transparency day’ during news conference

CCSD superintendent refuses to discuss police incident near Durango High after telling media “happy transparency day” during news conference
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:00 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Clark County School District superintendent said the word “transparency” at least three times during the unveiling of a new data system that is now available to the public. The system tracks enrollment, attendance, academic progress of students, expulsions and suspensions in the district, among other things.

Dr. Jesus Jara started a news conference by telling the media, “happy transparency day.” But later refused to provide any details about what happened last month near Durango High School. A CCSD police officer slammed a student to the ground while other students were handcuffed. Two students have told FOX5 they did nothing wrong. One student who was handcuffed said he started to pull out a cell phone to record the encounter. CCSD Police have not said why the students were contacted in the first place, why some were handcuffed and have not explained why force was used on one student. Officials have said officers were investigating reports of a gun in the area. There are no reports of a gun being found on the students.

Both the ACLU and NAACP have been critical of the incident and the ACLU just told FOX5 it wants public records released in 30 days or it will take the matter to court.

CCSD has denied a FOX5 public records request for the police narrative of what happened and CCSD Police have, to date, refused to release officer bodycam footage from that day.

At the Tuesday news conference, Dr. Jara was asked if he would commit to releasing information.

“What I’ll commit to releasing is actually I’ll commit to releasing the data dashboard that we have in front of us because this is what this is about,” said Jara.

FOX5 then asked Dr. Jara for a response to the ACLU’s requests for public records within 30 days.

“My response is that we’re here to discuss a data dashboard and celebrate the work that’s happening in our school district on behalf of our students,” said Jara.

While Dr. Jara refused to discuss the incident near Durango High, he has called for a review of the use of force policies and protocols within the CCSD Police Department. And shortly after the incident, he said the district was concerned about how one student was treated.

FOX5 has an attorney working to gain access to records, including bodycam footage of officers on the scene that day.