Parents concerned about security at technical high schools
Parents are raising concerns about security at technical high schools in the valley after police said a former student brought a rifle to campus last month.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Parents are raising concerns about security at technical high schools in the valley after police said a former student brought a rifle to campus last month.
Police found the rifle in a vehicle belonging to Jake Howell, a former student, at Northwest Career and Technical Academy on Dec. 21, according to the arrest report.
Howell denied intentions to hurt anyone, according to the arrest report, but that incident led parents like Jaime Alvarez to start questioning school security.
A separate parent emailed Action News after discovering regular, also called "comprehensive," high schools in Clark County each have two police officers on duty full time; the five technical high schools do not.
"Things happen. It doesn't matter what kind of school you go," said Alvarez, whose child is a freshman at the school.
Alvarez believes all high schools in the county should have the same security staffing.
"Kids are kids. They should be getting protection like other kids," said Alvarez.
So why the difference? The Clark County School District told Action News that technical high schools typically have fewer students than regular high schools, noting students must apply to enroll in technical schools. CCSD police stressed that they do have measures in place at technical schools to protect those students.
"We have a patrol force of officers that will go in and out of those schools on a daily basis," said CCSD police Capt. Ken Young. "As well, we have our local law enforcement partners that patrol those particular schools."
Young said police consider a variety of factors to determine security staff levels including population of the school, its geographical location and funding. Besides officers, school district police said they have other means to keep an eye on technical schools but did not go into detail.
Police believe the current set up has worked successfully for years and there are no plans to make changes, Young said.
"We feel that we're ahead of the game. We feel that our schools are safe," Young said. "Many of us are parents so we make sure that we feel our students are safe."
Alvarez said a group of parents is considering sending a letter with their concerns to the district office.
Howell was scheduled for arraignment in district court on Tuesday; the appearance was pushed back to Jan. 31, according to the court.