By Kim Passoth
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — At their board meeting Thursday night, CCSD Trustees voted to implement a program called “Dads in Schools”, allowing dads and others to volunteer and serve as school campus monitors.
Those behind the program maintain a strong male presence on a school campuses, preventing rising cases of school violence.
“Our children are screaming out for help and we don’t know how to help them anymore,” said Tara Lynn Thompson, a theater teacher in the district.
Parents also pleaded with the district to do something now, including one mom of three juniors at Desert Oasis High School which recently has seen fights, lockdowns and even a gun on campus.
“My children are genuinely frightened about what awaits them each day… Lately it has been a warzone and the adults in charge do not know how to handle it… Teachers are not even given a clear answer on what to do if a fight breaks out in class,” Victoria Mulehousen said.
Jalisa Oberlay, a student at Desert Oasis High School shared what the recent hard lockdown at was like for her.
“Why should I have to text my parents I love them from underneath the desk? Why should we have to comfort each other in the darkness of closets, the floors of classrooms, the corners of lunchrooms? I don’t want to spend everyday living in fear in a place that was meant to feel safe. How can we continue pretending our school is safe?,” Oberlay said.
Parents and educators said students who perpetrate the violence aren’t facing consequences.
“They will get pulled out, they will return a few minutes later. They will see no consequences and then that sets the tone that this must be normal,” said Kindergarten teacher Jessica Jones.
Dads is Schools founder Troy Martinez said violence happening in our local neighborhoods is spilling over into schools.
“The violence that we are seeing in our neighborhoods is now going into the schools,” explained Troy Martinez, local founder of Dads is Schools. Martinez has met with Dads on Duty, a similar group in Louisiana already working in schools and stated having a male presence in schools is proven to prevent violence.
“We choose to boost the morale of the staff and the students,” Martinez said.
The agreement with Dads in Schools runs through June 2023.
As part of the agreement, the program must conduct a community awareness campaign to generate volunteer interest.
Volunteers will need to clear the CCSD background checks, so it will be sometime before volunteers can go into schools.
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