Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2019

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School District steps up security as year winds down

CCSD School Safety News Conference

Steve Marcus

Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara responds to questions during a news conference on school safety at CCSD administrative offices on West Sahara Avenue Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

CCSD School Safety News Conference

Metro Police Capt. Sasha Larkin speaks during a Clark County School District news conference on school safety at CCSD administrative offices on West Sahara Avenue Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Launch slideshow »

To ensure school safety as the academic year winds down, officials have increased random weapons searches and boosted the police presence at valley schools, Clark County School District officials said Wednesday.

“Our students can’t learn when they don’t feel safe in school, and our educators can’t teach and work when they don’t feel safe,” Superintendent Jesus Jara said in a briefing, flanked by Metro Police and School District Police officers.

A survey found about 20 percent of CCSD students don’t feel safe at school, Jara said. “Our kids are dealing with increasingly adult concerns, and those issues are coming onto our campuses,” he said.

Regular classes end May 23 and resume Aug. 12.

This school year, police confiscated 17 firearms and 33 BB and airsoft guns from students on campuses, Jara said. Six armed adults — some with concealed firearms permits — also had their weapons confiscated.

Additionally, officials in Clark County probed 4,799 tips received on the SafeVoice medium, a statewide application that launched in August to report bullying, threats and overall suspicious activities, School District Police Chief James Ketsaa said.

Metro Capt. Sasha Larking urged parents to closely communicate with their children and remain vigilant of their online activities as the school year winds down.

“It’s been a frustrating school year with all the violent incidents we’ve seen throughout the country,” she said.

The district touted its partnerships with area police departments, which have conducted training on school campuses and become familiar with the school layouts, Larkin said.