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Community-wide effort needed to tackle CCSD school violence

CCSD high school fight
Posted at 8:33 PM, Feb 19, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — School violence remains an ongoing issue across the Clark County School District and data put together by the district shows thousands of violent acts documented since the start of the school year.

“Instinctly, my first one is what’s going on and where can we help.”

That’s the first thought going through Anna Binder’s head. As a concerned parent, she’s keeping a close eye on the number of violent acts reported by CCSD this year, numbering more than 5000. Binder says this number is not far from the last school year of 208-2019 before the pandemic.

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“At least just for violence against other students, there were just over 7,600 reports. For that school year,” she said.

She says school violence is not a new issue within CCSD and the viral outbursts we’ve seen in recent weeks could happen at any school in the valley. The top five schools this year for reports of violent acts are spread out geographically.

“You can’t ever suspect or assume that just because you live in one place or another that your neighbors or your community aren’t going to be suffering,” she said.

But CCSD teachers say the pandemic certainly made challenges with student behavior worse.

“Students are a lot more anxious. There’s a lot more anxiety among our student population. They’ve had fewer opportunities to interact with each other, that’s for sure,” Reuben D’Silva, a teacher, said.

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Another teacher believes the current staff shortage also isn’t helping.

“When you don’t have the adults around to take care of that and monitor that, it can very easily get out of control,” Carmen Andrews said.

Binder believes tackling school violence should be a community-wide effort. She points to SB 89 passed in 2019. If fully funded, it would provide $234 million to hire more support staff to help students.

“That money goes towards school psychologists, school nurses. Just that demographic of mental health employees that we need in our schools,” she said.