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Dads in Schools, led by Las Vegas pastor, created in response to violence at Clark County schools

Dads in Schools Attorney General Ford PSA
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Clark County School District Police said they’ve confiscated dozens of firearms and reported about 3,000 assaults, batteries and fights this school year alone.

It’s a problem that has many families asking whether the state’s largest school district is safe. A new effort, led by a Las Vegas pastor, plans to put dads in schools to stop the violence.

The problem has gotten so concerning to parents and teachers that district Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara vowed to take a tougher stance against students who resort to violence.

Last week, Jara said he would reinstate the expulsion review board, close traditionally open campuses and institute a single point of entry.

KNPR’s Yvette Fernandez was at the press conference.

“They would not be allowed back in regular what they call compulsory schools, but they would be offered other options. And some of those other options would be like the Nevada Learning Academy, the Lighthouse, Accelerated Academy, or simply just some online options for them,” she said.

Pastor Troy Martinez wants to intervene before violence occurs in schools.

Dads in Schools started as a program in the South, and has since gone nationwide. In Southern Nevada, 74 Clark County schools have signed up, with about 300 volunteer dads. Their goal is to double that number and implement 10 dads per school.

“It’s prevention by presence,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Martinez said they met with the district attorney’s office who told him at the time, there were 14 minors booked into the Clark County Detention Center facing a murder charge.

“We were inspired by the Dads on Duty in Louisiana. But we understand that our school district is much larger, and Vegas is still Vegas. We're just unique,” he said. “We tailored a proposal for the school district that would actually address the immediate issues of violence on their campuses.”

The CCSD Board of Trustees approved the program.

A caller was interested in how moms can get involved. Martinez said they’re accepting female and mother volunteers for administration assistance.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford became involved in the program both professionally and as a concerned father of a CCSD student.

“I know there have been some team meetings where students themselves have spoken up and said, it's not the school, it's the parents who are not holding their own children accountable. And one of the ways that we can engage and to hold people accountable is to ensure that the parents are engaged in programs just like this,” he said.

For more information, or to sign up, click here. Find more coverage on Dads In Schools in Desert Companion's Fifth Street.

Yvette Fernandez, reporter, Nevada Public Radio;  Troy Martinez, pastor and Dads in Schools founder;  Aaron Ford, Nevada attorney general

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She oversees and writes State of Nevada’s online and social media content.