LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District Supt. Dr. Jesus Jara sent the following letter to the community early Thursday morning:
When history tells the story of 2020, it will be a sobering one. It will include stories about teachers on the frontlines of educational justice tirelessly working to ensure that our voiceless have a fighting chance. It will record the moments when community activists marched side by side, demonstrating in a sea of unrest, fighting for change. And, there will be the accounts of parents rolling up their sleeves and teaching their children, sometimes with limited resources in their homes.
As Superintendent of the fifth-largest school district in our nation, I am deeply saddened and troubled by the inequities and disadvantages that so many of our underprivileged and under-served students and families face every day. I am not a politician. I am an educator and proud to be Superintendent in Clark County. Like many of my students, I have faced racial discrimination, lived in poverty and fought through economic disadvantages to reach the point where I could work on behalf of children. I understand, firsthand, the daily challenges they face. This fight for equality is deeply personal. It is, indeed, my life’s work.
Years ago, I watched my 11-year-old daughter battle cancer. My initial emotions and feelings were of pain, despair, and anger. But, not her. She smiled through her pain. She stayed motivated through tough news and rejoiced when she finally received the news of remission. It taught me an invaluable lesson about navigating through life’s difficulties. I realized that if we keep pushing and remain positive, we can make it to the other side of almost any situation okay.
The pandemic we are facing has thrown back the covers on the grim reality of how our students live every day. Their hopes, dreams and aspirations are no different than their peers. There are 320,000 warriors reaching for their chance to be teachers, doctors, scientists or whatever their dream career might be. But there is an imbalance in our system. A scale that refuses to be equal. A system that has often turned its back on them. My response to naysayers is simple. “Have you ever looked into the eyes of a child who had nothing but a dream to change it all? A child who slept in a homeless shelter and sat at a community table studying for a test all night?” If you haven’t -- you haven’t come face to face with many of the dreamers who are the face of our future. These are the dreamers that we must continue to fight for.
The coming school year will be challenging and it will be different. There is no perfect solution, but whatever we do, our children must know we are standing with them every step of the way. And, I am here, as a leader, a teacher, a father and a friend. We will succeed as one unified family, leaving no one behind. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will be challenged like never before. For our children’s sake, we must succeed.
We are stronger than we know, and together, we are invincible. Our teachers are motivated. Our administrators and community partners are engaged. Our students are quickly adjusting to the changes ahead, challenging the limitations that have been set before them.
I am asking each of you to continue to stand together and show our resolve. To stand firm in adversity and to call upon your Superintendent if you need support. I am here and I will remain here fighting for our students every step of the way.
Dr. Jesus F. Jara
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Jara has been under fire recently because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and education in Clark County.
On Wednesday the school board met to discuss recent allegations against Dr. Jara. However, the meeting ended before getting to that final item.
The National Education Association of Southern Nevada (NEASN) has also called on Jara to resign.
However, the three local mayors and chair of the Clark County Board of Commissioners have submitted a letter of support for Clark County School District Supt. Dr. Jesus Jara.