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Local pastor pitches 'Dads in Schools' program to help address school violence

Dads in Schools
Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 00:34:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's the goal of every parent and teacher: helping our kids succeed. Now, a new group wants to be the change for Clark County students who may not have that support system. The group "Dads in Schools" believes addressing violence in our local high schools will make a difference.

Fights at Desert Oasis High School, a student assaulting a classmate at Vegas High School: these reports of violence on Clark County School District campuses have been disturbing to Pastor Troy Martinez.

"Talking to our own grandchildren, we know that they want to feel safe in school. They want to learn,” he said.

Martinez has 11 grandkids attending CCSD schools and wants to provide a solution: Dads in Schools. As the founder of the group, he says the aim is to recruit parents, especially fathers, to volunteer their time on school campuses. He believes it's prevention through presence for students.

"They feel safer and have an opportunity to interact and change the atmosphere, make it a safe atmosphere,” he said.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Concerns over violence in the Clark County School District

Martinez says the volunteers are not there to enforce rules, but to be a shoulder to lean on — rather than an authoritarian figure like a teacher or principal. He says this way, students will open up more.

"Discuss some of the things they're going through or might be struggling without fear of other students being upset or angry,” he said.

Dads in Schools is open to both moms and dads. Martinez says many students, especially those who come from older, under-served areas of town, don't always have father figures to guide them on the right path.

"Just having dads in school campuses, just having the presence of a father figure, is going to be important to them developing,” he said.

Martinez says he anticipates the program to start at some schools as early as next month, once the CCSD board gives its approval.