LAS VEGAS -- "They were afraid to go to school and they said, 'If something happens, mom, what do I do?'"
Melissa Chavez is looking for answers after an alarming question from her teenagers.
“It broke my heart especially knowing that I work in a more secure building than I’m dropping them off at,” she said.
Chavez works at a bank. Her three kids go to Foothill High School. On Tuesday, Chavez told that story at an education summit. It was led by a panel of higher education leaders like Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara and Communities in Schools of Nevada chief executive Tiffany Tyler.
“It's unsettling. Our vision of empowering youth to go out and be our next set of leaders is greatly compromised when children are reporting they don't feel safe,” said Tyler.
Since the beginning of the school year, CCSD Police said they’ve confiscated 14 guns from different schools.
Back in September, Dalvin Brown, 18, was shot and killed at Canyon Springs High School. A month later, four students were arrested after a fight broke out at Western High School. Police said that was over race.
“When you have somebody that looks like you and grew up like you, I think sometimes those things help," said panelist and Senator Mo Denis.
Race was brought up a lot on Tuesday. Superintendent Jara said the majority of kids who get expelled and disciplined are African American. Some people said more diverse teachers could help.
Another suggestion was adding more police offers.
Other people, like Dr. Tyler, said safety issues go beyond police or locked doors.
“It’s not only physical safety but also emotional and physiological safety.”
The summit didn’t solve any of these problems but it did spark a conversation.
“After coming to this summit today, I feel a whole lot better,” said Chavez.
A conversation other parents hope will continue outside of workday hours, so more people can get involved.
Fox5 asked Jara for an interview after the meeting but he declined.