Teachers are expected to gather ahead of Thursday night’s Clark County School Board meeting to protest the violence that has occurred on campuses in recent weeks.
The protest comes as the district is set to discuss student expulsions, teacher shortages and other staffing issues in positions such as bus drivers. The protest is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. outside the Edward A. Greer Education Center, 2832 E. Flamingo Road.
Teachers have staged more than one protest around the district this month in response to the increase in school violence. After a teacher was beaten and sexually assaulted at Eldorado High School on April 7, students and staff gathered outside the high school to ask for the district to do more.
The fifth-largest school district in the country has had more than 5,700 calls for service regarding fights, batteries or assaults, and 1,300 cases resulting in arrests or citations on campuses since the beginning of the school year, according to district police.
Despite the district announcing new protocols and safety measures that included increased police presence around schools and a panic button mechanism for staff to alert authorities in case of emergencies, Eldorado staff said last week that the promised safety measures hadn’t been implemented.
The following day, three more students were arrested in three separate assaults on teachers and staff at Las Vegas Valley schools.
In a statement sent to parents and employees last week following the arrests, the district said that violent acts, assaults and bullying would not be tolerated, but also said that it would not disclose the details of increased security measures “except to those who need to know.”
Vicki Kreidel, a second grade teacher and president of the National Education Association of Southern Nevada, said the district’s communication was not enough.
“I don’t know any educator that feels like the district is doing enough,” she said. “We feel like the panic button is a reactive response from the district and it’s one tiny thing that may help in some situations. It’s not going to help in a lot of situations.”
Kreidel, who is also organizing the protest ahead of Thursday’s board meeting, said that there have been more violent incidents on campuses than have been reported in the news, but that school staff are being threatened and directed not to talk to the media.
“The fact that Dr. Jara is saying that the safety plans are a secret that they have to keep private even from staff,” she said. “… If they want teachers to feel safe enough to go to work and feel safe enough to stay in the district and return next year, they need to communicate with the staff about those safety measures.”
Contact Lorraine Longhi at email@example.com. Follow @lolonghi on Twitter.