LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Ahead of a bid to oust her from the Clark County School District board presidency, Trustee Linda Cavazos says the board faces a "crisis of division."
She made the remarks during a press conference on Wednesday, one day before the scheduled school board meeting where two likely contentious items will be discussed: Terminating Supt. Jesus Jara's contract and removing Trustee Cavazos as board president.
Trustee Cavazos confirmed last week that she, Trustee Danielle Ford and Trustee Lisa Guzman requested the item on terminating Jara's contract to be put on Thursday's agenda.
During Wednesday's press conference, Cavazos said there were a set of circumstances to cause Trustee Ford to ask for an agenda item to discuss terminating Supt. Jara’s contract, but she did not elaborate if there were enough votes to do that.
NEWS. Announcing that I will have short press conference tomorrow afternoon to address a few important issues happening currently. 4:00 tomorrow at Parkdale Community Center, in District G. Sponsored by me. @MiFamiliaVota @SSV_NV #truthbetold @CodeSwitchLV @NRIS1865— linda cavazos (@lindacavazos13) October 27, 2021
Back in May, the board voted 4-3 to extend the contract of Jara with Trustees Cavazos, Guzman, and Ford voting against it.
Trustee Lola Brooks confirmed she, Trustee Katie Williams, and Trustee Evelyn Garcia-Morales requested the item to remove Cavazos as board president, but declined further comment.
In a letter she sent to Cavazos and provided to 13 Action News, Brooks expressed "sorrow" making the request saying she and Cavazos previously had a close relationship.
In the letter, Brooks said the relationship soured alleging Cavazos leaked confidential information from a closed session to an employees union resulting in "costly attorney fees and the district’s inability to address a situation in a timely and appropriate manner."
Brooks went on in the letter to allege Cavazos had reached out to principals to get support in ousting Jara.
"We both began receiving reports from numerous principals that you had reached out to them directly in an effort to oust Supt. Jara by publicly humiliating him through a vote of no confidence," Brooks wrote. "When Supt. Jara and I attempted to meet with you, in an effort to clear the air, you and your peers called a special meeting to sever his contract instead."
Brooks also wrote she was compelled to make the move after Cavazos and two other trustees made the latest request to discuss terminating Jara's contract.
"Your latest action is the final straw. The board decided to renew the superintendent’s contract. I understand that you and your peers were on the losing side of the vote, that doesn’t mean you are allowed to undermine the board’s decision," she wrote. "The board made a decision and instead of honoring it, you failed to make an effort to move us forward and have consistently undermined the will of the board and performed your duties poorly."
Cavazos says the agenda item to remove her as president is retaliation and refutes the claims made by Trustee Brooks in her letter.
“I have no choice today but to sadly but adamantly refute many of the statements that have been made in a letter released publicly by Trustee Lola Brooks," she said. “Such a blatant display of retaliation occurring at a time when many students and educators are stating and reporting that intimidation and retaliation openly exist in our district."
Cavazos also wanted to see trustees function better as a unit to tackle issues impacting students and teachers and become better role models.
“Some of the behavior that has been exhibited at board meetings I will tell you right now, our kids are watching, and we’re supposed to be the adults in the room," she said.
When asked whether he was afraid of losing his job last week, Jara took a moment to share stories of the teachers who fought for him growing up.
“I’m employed by the elected school board of Clark County. But I work every single day for the children and the educators that I work alongside. That’s my main focus. That continues to be my focus and that will remain my focus until I’m told otherwise," Jara said.