Student accused of pulling knife on teacher faces adult court

Foothill High School in Henderson (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

A former Foothill High School student accused of approaching a teacher with a knife was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, a judge ordered Monday.

Sapphyre Rodriguez pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon during a Family Court hearing.

An email to students on April 20 said the girl, who the Clark County School District said was 14 at the time, was the last to leave class at the Henderson school and approached the teacher with the knife that afternoon.

The teacher grabbed a chair and used it as a shield while walking toward the door. He then closed the door and barricaded it with the student inside, Clark County School District Police Department Lt. Bryan Zink said at the time.

Family Court Judge William Voy ordered the now 15-year-old to face Mental Health Court in Clark County District Court.

Rodriguez was represented Monday by attorney Chris Rasmussen, who said the girl was being bullied at school and wanted to learn virtually. As of Monday, she had spent 27 days in the Juvenile Detention Center, Rasmussen said arguing for her release.

“This was an emotional outburst as a result of CCSDs failure to provide for a statutorily documented special needs child,” Rasmussen wrote in a message to the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the hearing. “She never had the intent to harm. This was a cry for help.”

Prosecutor Robert Bawa submitted a plea deal, which would keep the girl in the juvenile system, but Rasmussen said without elaborating that Rodriguez preferred to be certified as an adult.

Rodriguez and her family, who attended the hearing Monday, could not be reached for comment after the hearing.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.