Following the violent assault on an Eldorado High School teacher last week, teachers in the Clark County School District will stage a protest outside the district administrative offices Wednesday.
Last Thursday, a 16-year-old student was arrested on charges of sexual assault and attempted murder for an attack on the Eldorado teacher. The incident prompted the Clark County Education Association and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to demand a safer environment for teachers in the district.
The attack marks the latest in a series of violent incidents that have gripped the district in recent weeks. Last month, in response to the violence, the district unveiled new disciplinary actions, including potential expulsion for students who engage in fighting.
But for Vicki Kreidel, a second-grade teacher and president of the National Education Association of Southern Nevada, the measures do not do enough to solve the larger issue of violence on school campuses.
Kreidel, who is just one of the educators who mobilized as part of a grassroots effort to stage Wednesday’s protest, said she originally was in favor of town halls where Superintendent Jesus Jara could hear concerns from parents and staff directly.
“It’s too late for that now. Somebody almost died,” Kreidel told The Review-Journal. “Now we need some immediate, short-term solutions put into place and we need a longer list of long-term solutions that need to be put in place before next school year.”
The Clark County School District — the fifth largest in the country — has seen over 1,000 logged citations and arrests since January and 3,000 assaults, battery cases and fights since the start of the school year, CCSD Police Chief Henry Blackeye said at a press conference last month.
The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the planned protest, but Superintendent Jara said in a letter to staff Friday following the Eldorado attack that the safety of students and employees was a top priority.
“Violent acts, assaults, and bullying will not be tolerated in the Clark County School District, and those who choose to engage in these activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Jara said. “Let me say again, unequivocally, violence will not be tolerated at Clark County Schools or against our students or staff.”
The protest is planned for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13 at the district’s Administrative Center, 5100 W. Sahara Ave. As of Tuesday, more than 400 people had indicated they were attending or interested in attending according to a Facebook event for the protest, and Kreidel invited the public to attend and show their support for educators.
“We’re hoping that this protest tomorrow…will help all the educators see that we can mobilize, we can work together and we can advocate for something that’s important together,” Kreidel said. “Student and staff safety matters. We hope that the district sees that educators have the community’s support so that they’ll take action.”