LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County School District leaders shared their reactions Wednesday after two national education organizations called for an end to violence and threats surrounding school board meetings.
This, after seeing a country-wide uptick in outrage due to COVID-19 regulations.
"School leaders across the country are facing threats because they are simply trying to follow the health and scientific safety guidance issued by federal, state and local health policy experts... We oppose the increasingly aggressive tactics creeping into board and community meetings, and we cannot let frustrations and tensions evolve into name calling and intimidation. We will never back down from the importance of freedom of speech, but we cannot — and will not — tolerate aggression, intimidation, threats and violence toward superintendents, board members and educators.”
CCSD leaders like Board of Trustees President Linda Cavazos have reported that they're receiving messages including death threats.
On Wednesday, district Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara spoke about the associations' collective plea, and specifically how it relates to the district locally.
"We're dealing with very challenging times in this pandemic, you know, there's a lot of different takes: open schools, don't open schools, masks, no masks. That is an agenda that really has no business in schools," said Jara. "It's unfortunate that it has gotten to that level, but you know, we're taking all the precautionary measures with our police department, and our security measures, to make sure everybody's safe, so the board can continue to conduct the business that they have to to continue to move the school district forward."
Cavazos said that accomplishing business at board meetings was difficult recently, particularly at the Aug. 12 meeting, when threats and aggression got in the way.
"We, because of the safety concerns, because there were threats being made, because the meeting had already, I think I had to call a recess like three times to go in the back, we decided that safety was our number one concern, and we needed to get people out of the building," said Cavazos. "And it's a business meeting, and we're there to conduct business, and it's for the benefit of the public."
She said this is one reason communication has become so clouded within the district.
"I feel we were deprived, the trustees and the public were deprived of hearing that discussion," said Cavazos.
Jara said the focus of his staff is on the educational instruction of their students.
"We have to continue to make sure that we educate our children in the safest environment possible and keeping our staff safe," said Jara.