School Board collects public input as it considers antiracism policy

Fri, Apr 23, 2021 (8:46 a.m.)

The Clark County School Board took public comment Thursday on what should be included in an antiracism policy it is drafting.

The Board previously approved a resolution to create and implement the policy. It has been listening to input from parents, students and social justice/advocacy groups.

“There’s going to be no perfect time to do this. If we don’t take any steps at all, nothing will happen,” board President Linda Cavazos said.

The Nevada Immigrant Coalition wrote the board to suggest the School District make sure it teaches a curriculum that covers contributions from minorities in history.

The group also asked for more diversity among teachers and administrators.

“Dealing with racism, racial bullying and attitudes from white teachers that devalue minority culture and is traumatizing to our children of color,” wrote the coalition’s Sylvia Lazos.

Sylvester Rogers, president of the Ministers Alliance of Southern Nevada, suggested the policy ban confederate flags, Nazi swastikas and Ku Klux Klan symbols on school property.

A transgender girl described the harassment she has faced in school.

“I’ve been called names, made fun of and been treated like I have the plague,” said the girl, 14, whose name was withheld for her protection.

She also asked the board to stand up for people of color. “Please protect the people I care about,” she said.

School Board member Lisa Guzman said drafting a policy will be a challenge, because “everybody at the table has a different definition of what antiracism means.”

Board member Lola Brooks warned against rushing to put a policy. “This effort has been disorganized and we have prioritized speed over substance,” she said.

Board member Danielle Ford said the worst thing the district could do is write a policy and not use it. Money should go toward making sure whatever policy tis adopted is fully implemented, she said.

The Board is scheduled to discuss a draft at a May 5 work session.

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