Joey Gilbert. former professional boxer, Reno lawyer, and GOP candidate for Nevada Governor, chose Eldorado High School to hold a press conference this morning. This location is sadly significant in the failing and violence-plagued Clark County School District (CCSD) due to the recent and horrific attack suffered by an educator at the hands of a 16-year-old student who was “seeking revenge.”
As reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Jonathan Eluterio Martinez Garcia, 16, is facing a total of 15 charges, including four counts of attempted murder, seven counts of sex-crime-related battery, and counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery and burglary, records show. Las Vegas police have said that the teenager beat and sexually assaulted an Eldorado High School teacher after he had gone to a classroom to discuss his grades.
As Gilbert took to the podium, he announced that as Governor of Nevada he will, on the first day in office, declare a State of Emergency to fix Nevada’s school system.
My first act upon being sworn into office as Governor will be to declare a State of Emergency regarding Nevada’s worst-in-the-nation public school system. Something must be done. Nevadans are at a breaking point. 70 to 90 percent of our students are functionally illiterate. 50 percent of kids don’t come to school. Students and their parents are fearful of incidents of violence and drug abuse. This is a catastrophe. It is a man-made catastrophe and that is why, on the first day I am elected Governor of Nevada, I will declare a State of Emergency.
Since Dr. Jesus Jara has been in charge, these problems have gotten worse. According to the school district’s law enforcement, 25 guns have been confiscated this year and there have been 7000 incident reports logged by police. Never before have political leaders cared so little about our children. They are unable to solve the problems they have created.
The failure of our schools is at the root of every major challenge our state faces, including an inadequate number of skilled workers, substance abuse, a crime epidemic, sex-trafficking of children, maintaining physical and mental health, and homelessness.
Our parents are at a breaking point. They have lost faith in school leaders and politicians who, year after year, have promised to improve the situation but have failed miserably. Meanwhile, almost a half-million school children are being exposed on a daily basis to dangerous, morally bankrupt school environments and cheated out of their education and future.
Declaring a State of Emergency for our entire school system would allow me to bring strong discipline back into our schools, eliminate the practice of giving passing grads to students who do not attend class and do no work, and replace ineffective school leaders immediately.
Gilbert then laid out a vision of what Nevada public schools would be like with him in charge:
- Schools, campuses, and classrooms–state wide–would be safe and drug-free, practicing 100% voluntary drug testing.
- Teachers would be empowered to regain control of their classrooms and student behavior would be respectful.
- Average daily student would improve to 90%.
- All students, regardless of race, would be learning at grade level or above.
- Education would not be indoctrination with a curriculum that was accurate, balanced, and inclusive. “The past and present flaws of America would not be hidden,” Gilbert said, “but all Nevada schools would proudly teach the overwhelming greatness of our nation and the privilege each of of us has to be a part of it.”
- Campuses would be open to public visitation.
- Deans would return to campuses.
- Ineffective leaders would be removed.
Asked by The Globe how long it would take to turn things around, Gilbert responded: “No more than 100 days. I believe that we can do this in 8 weeks but 100 days may be necessary. This is a disaster and I will also call a special legislative session.”
In a follow up question, I asked what specific solutions would be key to turn around the system in a short amount of time. Gilbert didn’t give specifics but said “we have an accountability problem. No deans in schools are a problem. The buck stops with the Governor. As the Governor, I will sit down with all appropriate leaders. While I was fighting on behalf of parents and students during the pandemic to open schools and sports, I was told that it was the governor who was in complete control. So as the governor, I will sit with everyone and consider their input and I will put task forces in each county. The bloat, waste and corruption will have to be addressed. Our students and teachers lives are at stake. At what point do we say enough is enough? This governor has been absent or has exacerbated the issue, but now in an election year, education is suddenly important.”
When asked what reaction he expects from the education unions, Gilbert stated: “I expect the unions to care only about their power and money. I expect push back from the unions. I talk to teachers every day. All teachers want is someone to stand up for them and they know that as Governor, I have their back. Teachers will be able to work with and report to our task forces. The unions will have a choice–to support the teachers and students or I will decertify the unions. But if they care about their teachers and the students, they will get on board quickly.”
As the press conference ended and the cameras rolled, Gilbert took questions from the many parents and supporters in attendance and answered a variety of questions related to curriculum, performance and a variety of parental concerns. He also reaffirmed his support for cameras in classrooms.
During one exchange, Gilbert commented: “Experts don’t enforce the laws. I will enforce the laws as Governor. Nevada needs someone that understands the law in this state and who is father and a businessman, and that is what I bring to the table.” In a swipe at his competition, Gilbert said, “A politician, a doctor, or a sheriff is not going to fix these issues.” Gilbert added, “this shouldn’t be a political issue, this is an American issue. Excellence requires doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
Prior to the conference, Gilbert stood with a group of high school students and spoke with them about about his campaign, their issues, and promised them that he would “turn things around” and “never close the schools, cancel sports, or mandate masks as Governor.” Although numerous press reports generalize students as disrespectful and unruly, this group listened intently, some nodded and many said “Thank you, sir”. When Gilbert finished speaking with them and walked to the podium, a campaign staffer offered them campaign literature. Those who declined, said, “No thank you.”
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