LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — With gun confiscations on the rise in our local schools, some groups are demanding more action to keep our staff and students safe.
Just last week, we had five guns reported at Clark County School District campuses alone.
"As a parent of a child that's about to be in middle school, the incidents from last week were really concerning," said Elizabeth Becker, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action Nevada.
She also has a fifth grader in CCSD.
Becker is talking about the guns that were found at Eldorado High School, Mojave High School, Escobedo Middle School, and a loaded gun at Mack Middle School.
"It's just kind of demoralizing that we put in so much work," said Becker.
She is referring to the Safe Storage Resolution approved by the CCSD School Board of Trustees in 2021, where the district would send flyers in student registration materials that explain the importance of safely securing any firearms at home.
"What we want to see is that it will trigger parents to think about, oh, you know, maybe we did just purchase a weapon during the pandemic because millions of people across the country purchased a weapon during the pandemic, and some of them might not know how it is supposed to be stored," said Becker.
She says guns are still ending up on campuses.
Right now, CCSD gun confiscations are up 30% during the 2022-2023 academic school year.
"We have added a few additional dogs to our K9 team," said Lt. Bryan Zink, the public information officer for the CCSD Police Department, during an interview on Feb. 17. "So our K9 team's constantly out every day there's been throughout the valley, random sniffs."
Zink says mental health support also comes at the law enforcement level.
"We've added three social workers that are school police employees that we go out routinely and assisting officers with helping families and children," he said.
But Becker wants more to be done.
"The biggest thing that I think needs to be done at the district-wide level is hiring more mental health professionals," she said. "Students need more support."
When it comes to mental health resources, CCSD communications sent this statement:
The Clark County School District (CCSD) has a number of positions that offer mental health support to students including school psychologists, school counselors and social workers.
CCSD has approximately 185 School Psychologists, 700 School Counselors and 195 Social Workers for a total of nearly 1,100 employees to support approximately 305,000 students.
CCSD utilizes a number of Social-Emotional wellbeing systems and structures including: Care Solace, PM Pediatrics, Lifeline, Panorama Education, Hazel Health and the Harbor. During the 2021-22 school year, CCSD had 5,232 confirmed appointments through CareSolace in addition to 8,827 warm handoffs that connect families with care companions who help families navigate the insurance system to find the appropriate mental health care provider. Additionally, through the Panorama Education system students completed more than 220,000 surveys. Utilizing that information Multidisciplinary Leadership Teams conducted more than 185,000 in-person wellness checks and provided nearly 80,000 referrals.
CCSD has allocated over $20 million in American Rescue Plan and/or ESSER funding to support student mental health. Some of those programs include in-person and virtual mental and behavioral health therapy and substance abuse counseling services, resources to help parents find mental health resources, and technology that allows schools to provide student referrals for services.
CCSD has a designated Mental Health Resources page on CCSD.net that provides numbers for emergency situations. The page also contains information on other community resources. Additionally, CCSD staff have other resources available like Care Solace, PM Pediatrics and Lifeline to help connect families with additional support.
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