LAS VEGAS – Parents of students attending Clark County School District (CCSD) in Nevada are expressing concern over the growing number of weapons being discovered on school premises. Lorena Cardenas, who has a daughter enrolled in a CCSD high school, has joined other parents in raising the alarm about the issue. “Test scores and their outcomes, all that is great but none of it matters if our children are not completely safe”, Cardenas said.
According to data obtained through a public records request, firearm confiscation numbers have gone up over the past five years. During the 2017-2018 school year, 31 guns were seized, followed by 23 in the following year. However, during the pandemic years from 2019 to 2021, when students were mostly in distance learning, the numbers stayed low. But this school year, the school police have already seized 37 guns, exceeding the total of 32 from the previous year.
The issue of weapons on school premises has caused trauma for some students. Yesenia Gonzales, a mother of three, revealed that her special-needs son was attacked in September 2021. “It’s something that to this day haunts my special needs son. My son freaks out”, Gonzales said. Her two other children attend Cram Middle School and Mojave High School, where a student was arrested for bringing a firearm to school in February. Another mother, Lydia Ruiz, said that it is very concerning that children are bringing guns onto the school campus. “It really shows that they’re not focusing on education anymore. They’re more afraid for their security and their welfare”, Ruiz said.
CCSD police have also seized knives from students. Even in the pandemic-shortened 2019-2020 school year, 94 knives were confiscated. In the 2021-2022 school year, 174 knives were seized, and so far this school year, 138 knives have been seized. According to the parents, these issues have affected their children’s ability to focus and learn in the classroom.
To address the issue, some parents have joined “Dads in Schools”, a program that encourages parents to volunteer at schools and promote prevention through presence. “My biggest concern is that one of these fights would escalate into actual gun violence or knives”, Cardenas said. However, parents are calling on CCSD to take further measures to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
Credits: 8 News Now
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