LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — “Sad and unfortunate”. That’s how a former Clark County School District trustee is describing the behavior she’s seeing from the current Clark County Board of School Trustees.
“They’re not focused on policies and children and it needs to stop. It’s very important that they get back to why they were elected in the first place.”
Former county commissioner Susan Brager is appalled by the recent behavior she’s seen from the CCSD board of trustees.
“The decorum of the board makes for the decorum of the audience and the community and that decorum is gone,” she said.
Brager served as a trustee herself for more than a decade from the mid-90s through the mid-2000s before becoming a county commissioner. She says the bickering and infighting she’s seen didn’t happen when she served and says the behavior of the board sets an example.
“How do we facilitate and show our demeanor that the public can be comfortable that the children and staff is very important to us, so it was very few 4-3 votes. I can think of maybe one or two,” she said.
She believes the focus of the current board has not been on students and teachers but on individual agendas.
“The focus is on each one individually themselves and trying to outdo the other person on the negativity,” she said.
Speaking over the phone, former CCSD superintendent Walter Rulffes says he viewed the relationship as helping foster the set of goals or policies the board has given him. He couldn’t speak on the state of the current board but says the trustees he worked with appreciated the need to come to decisions, regardless of individual attitudes. Brager agreed with that assessment.
“Whether you liked someone or not would not play into it. You can work beyond that ability if your focus is where it belongs.”
A focus she believes should be on student and teacher success. She says trustees and the superintendent have to be professional and put aside any individual agendas.
“That respect level. That decorum of the board. Which will then enhance the ability of people in our community and especially our teachers. They’re under very stressful situations.”
Brager says the current trustees have a lot of work to do, but still have a chance to show they can function as a group.
“The very next meeting needs to be one that shows that they can work together, disagreeing if they want but not bringing those accusations, the bickering and the ugliness,” she said.
Brager says she and a group of former trustees and community members have come together to recruit potential candidates for the CCSD board as a way to redirect focus back on students.
We did reach out to other former trustees. Some couldn’t comment, while others, we didn’t hear back.