LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Authorities told 8 News Now a shooting that injured a Las Vegas school employee is being linked to a gang dispute that started at an east valley high school.
An arrest report for Jessie Rios, the 18-year-old accused of a shooting outside Von Tobel Middle School, states violence between two rival gangs at Sunrise Mountain High School spilled into surrounding communities.
Lawmakers at a hearing on Thursday discussed how to stop school violence like the recent incident.
AB 285 is a piece of legislation aimed to make it easier to expel students.
“I think there’s a difference between individuals, let’s just say, are gang motivated versus individuals that have anger issues. Post-traumatic stress,” Dr. Noris Dupree, a school psychologist, told members of the Senate Education Committee.
Dupree, who is based in Sparks, testified before state senators on why there needs to be a change to the restorative justice law that passed in 2019.
Assemblywoman Angie Taylor, (D) Washoe County – District 27, is a sponsor of AB 285.
“Maybe people are safe, but there’s one thing to be safe. It’s something else to feel safe, and teachers don’t feel safe. Other students don’t feel safe,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, AB 285 empowers teachers and administrators giving them the tools to expel and suspend problem students. It would also allow kids under the age of 11 to be suspended.
The Clark County Education Association and its members support the bill.
In a letter submitted to the Senate Education Committee, a teacher says a colleague at Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts was assaulted twice this year by a student.
The bill includes language that administrators must create a behavioral plan for students that includes positive intervention.
Yet, Republican State Sen. Carrie Buck says she has issues with it.
“Oftentimes what we end up doing is we make all these rules. For the kids yes, absolutely they need behavior plans. Behavior support. But ultimately, we punish the ones that are doing the right thing,” Buck, Clark County – District 5, said.
A date has not been set on when the Senate Education Committee will vote on this bill.
In regards to the gang violence in schools, Clark County School District Police Chief Mike Blackeye said last week at a press conference that for the past seven years, his department has had a gang liaison officer attached to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s gang unit.
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