CCSD explains policy to protect kids following recent acts of teacher, employee sex crimes

LAS VEGAS - The Clark County School District has faced a troubling theme in 2017: Teachers engaging in sexual behavior or sexual misconduct with students.  

The most recent incident involved a substitute teacher.  An arrest report released Monday said, Randall Minyard, 65, a first-time substitute teacher at Sandy Searles Miller Elementary School, was taken into custody on March 10 on charges of lewdness and misconduct for inappropriately touching students.

So far, this year, the district has averaged nearly two arrests a month.  So, what's being done to protect students.  In a story you'll only see on 8 News NOW, Reporter Shakala Alvaranga found out that answer as she took a closer look at the troubling allegations.

"We do everything that we can to minimize or ensure that this is not happening," according to Andre Long, Chief Human Resources Officer with CCSD.

An alarming number of CCSD teachers, as many as six, have already been arrested this year due to sexual misconduct with students.

"We spend time on what's appropriate interactions with students and what's inappropriate interactions, and they're basically told that if you go against this statue, you're going to jail," Long said.

However, it's a difficult crime to tackle.  Terri Miller, the president of S.E.S.A.M.E, waged a quiet war in Pahrump in the 1990s.

"Coast to coast this is a huge problem, it's a systemic problem of ignoring the victimization of children and protecting predators," Miller said.

The sex scandal centered around 51-year-old Joseph Peterson, a man Shannon May thought was a good guy.

"It destroyed a lot of who I thought I was," May, a sex assault victim said.  "It destroyed a lot of who I wanted to be. I have four children, three different fathers.  It really messed my mind up. It turned me into a drug addict."

May was 17 years old when Peterson sexually assaulted her, and it turns out he had dozens of other victims.

"I was just a basic run-of-the-mill down south Florida girl who really didn't know much about the world," May said.

However, it was Miller, a tough, committed mother of four, who helped to put Peterson behind bars.

"It is never OK for an adult to violate a student or take advantage of them because of a child's behavior -- ever," Miller said.

CCSD has a video employees must watch every year as an educational tool to prevent sexual misconduct.

"Their answer to 16 teacher arrests in 2001 was to develop a 10-minute training video for employees to watch," Miller said.

"My proof would be that if we have 30,000 employees and we have so few incidents occurring," Long said.

But the question on everyone's mind is, is it enough?

"A 10-minute video that they can turn on walk away, and come back to and hit submit that they have seen it is not adequate," Miller said.

Long says the district is open to new ideas and wants to ease parents concerns.  Long says safety is their top priority.

"Somebody always thinks I'm going to be the one that's not going to get caught, and you will get caught," Long says.  "It always happens.  Eventually, it happens."

Long added that he wasn't sure if the school's policies need to be changed at this time.  He says he believes education is key and making sure everyone is aware of what they should be looking out for works.
   
Miller is pushing for tougher legislation.
   

 


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