By Maddie White
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — After police say a student in the Clark County School District sexually assaulted and attempted to murder a teacher at Eldorado High School last Thursday, education officials met Tuesday after midday to announce “enhanced security measures at school” during a press conference.
Reminding students and families of the zero tolerance policy they have towards violence, SDCC Superintendent Jesus Jara and Trustee Evelyn Morales joined Teachers Union President Marie Neisess of the Clark County Education Association and others to sternly address the community and discuss “updated security measures” being taken.
Chief Henry Blackeye of CCSDPD said he has asked law enforcement partners to show an increased presence in and around CCSD schools until the end of our school year, in the hope that this increased presence reduce violence in our schools.
Jara said some schools would see a stronger presence than others, based on CCSDPD data showing where violence occurs most frequently.
Additionally, Jara said they will be implementing technology similar to panic buttons in classrooms. The panic device will be able to be worn on a lanyard and will have Bluetooth capabilities, according to district leaders. The device will alert the dispatch of first responders.
“Classroom communication systems and technology will be updated, where instant alerts – where adults, teachers and staff will be able to contact staff and first responders from anywhere in their location,” said Jara said.
Jara also said they plan to upgrade campus security cameras.
“The cameras, they are obsolete. And we will find the resources within the Clark County School District to protect our employees.
Many speakers used Tuesday’s conference to encourage parent involvement and communication.
“We need parental and community involvement. If you see something, say something,” said ESEA president Jan Giles, a union representing support staff.
Separately, Neisess also said he spoke with the Eldorado teacher who was injured in the attack. According to Neisess, the teacher wants the audience to know that the narrative that was made about the student coming to her class is about her grade and an argument that follows is “not true.”
She said the teacher wanted to make it known that she was the one and only victim of this attack and that she believed the student had come to her class with the specific intention of attacking her.
The conference comes after months of escalating violence on SDCC school campuses, according to county officials.
“We have not seen an increase in calls, but an increase in violence, a lack of empathy and a lack of respect for our adult authority,” said Brigid Duffy, director of the Juvenile Division of the County District Attorney. Clark.
Blackeye said SDCC has now seen a combined 1,300 incidents this school year where arrests or citations have occurred at SDCC schools. He said a total of 28 firearms have been confiscated on campuses this school year.
The prosecutor’s office reiterated its seriousness towards prosecuting violent offenders.
“In the case of the young man from Eldorado High School, he is being sent into the adult system to deal with the consequences,” Duffy said.
Neisess said she feels the state of Nevada and its lawmakers are partly responsible for not addressing school violence.
“The state must fund all schools with the resources necessary to improve our mental health programs for our staff and students,” Neisess said.
Administrator Morales took the time to advocate for parental action.
“Our hearts are extraordinarily heavy,” Morales said, referring to the teacher who was attacked. She added: “I implore our parents to speak to our children. Be in their lives and communicate with them.
The press conference was held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the CCSD administrative center at 5100 W Sahara Ave. It was announced shortly after teachers’ intentions to protest the district’s approach to mitigating school violence were made public.
For days, several CCSD teachers told FOX5 of their intention to demonstrate Wednesday morning in front of the same building where the press conference was held, on the Sahara. An invitation to a Facebook event shows that around 350 people are interested in attending.
The organizer, Vicki Kreidel of the Southern Nevada NEA, said the protest would continue as planned on Wednesday.
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