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CCSD agrees to turn over Jara social media records

Updated January 23, 2024 - 7:01 pm

The Clark County School District has agreed to turn over public records related to Superintendent Jesus Jara’s social media accounts by Feb. 5 in response to a lawsuit by the teachers union.

Earlier this month, the Clark County Education Association — which represents more than 16,000 licensed employees — filed a petition asking the court to force the school district to turn over records.

The union and its president, Marie Neisess, filed the petition against the school district, Jara and Chief Communications Officer Tod Story.

A court hearing was originally scheduled for Tuesday before District Judge Mary Kay Holthus, but it was pushed to Feb. 13.

Court documents filed Monday indicate the school district agreed to produce responsive documents to a public records request the union filed in December.

“Parties therefore agree to continue the currently scheduled hearing until after the February 5 deadline as this production may narrow the issues requiring judicial intervention,” according to the court order.

The teachers union said in a Tuesday statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “We expect CCSD and Superintendent Jara to be transparent. Whether voluntarily or through the courts.”

The school district said Tuesday that it does not comment on pending litigation.

The dispute is related to a November post on the social media platform X by an account under Jara’s name — which was deactivated shortly thereafter — that referred to Neisess as a “mistress.”

The union, as well as Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, had previously called for Jara’s resignation.

An account under Jara’s name replied to a post on X about Yeager’s leadership in calling for the superintendent’s resignation, saying: “What leadership? Corruption and bought by Crooked JV and his mistress Neisses?[sic]”

The post appeared to be referring to the union’s Executive Director John Vellardita and Neisess.

The union alleges that Jara and/or Story made the post and also used a separate burner account to defame CCEA leadership.

The district originally responded to the union’s public records request saying: “CCSD does not concede that the X/Twitter accounts requested are used in the course and scope of employment. Further, your request is ambiguous with regard to what ‘records’ and ‘information’ you are requesting,” according to court documents.

The petition filed this month isn’t the first legal challenge the school district has faced related to public records.

In December, a judge ordered the district to release body camera footage from a February 2023 police altercation with students near Durango High School in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.

The district released the footage Thursday.

Contention between CCSD and CCEA

The union’s court filing this month is the latest in a series of contentious exchanges between the district and union.

In September 2023, the district declared an impasse in teacher contract negotiations after 11 bargaining sessions over nearly six months. Union members held protests beginning over the summer at school board meetings and in front of school campuses.

Last month, an arbitrator approved a new two-year collective bargaining agreement between the district and union.

In September, a judge granted a school district request for a preliminary injunction against the union and declared that a teacher strike had occurred following unexpected staffing shortages that closed eight schools for one day each.

The union denied any involvement and appealed the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court, where it remains pending.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com. Follow @julieswootton on X.

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