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CCSD settles with student who had apparent swastika carved into back

The Clark County School District reached a settlement agreement with the family of an autistic and nonverbal Jewish student who had an apparent swastika carved into his back at a Las Vegas high school in March 2023.

The student’s mother told district police she noticed the apparent swastika while bathing him after school. The student was unable to explain how he received the scratch marks, according to a police report.

Attorneys for the family said the student’s parents stopped sending their son to Clark High School after the alleged incident because they thought it was unsafe.

The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to safeguard the civil rights of Jewish people, said in a press release on Thursday that the settlement included monetary compensation and educational services.

Ziporah Reich, the organization’s litigation director, said the family received the compensation in the past couple of weeks, adding that the student now can receive a safe education outside the district.

“At this point, the student is getting the education — the special education — he deserves in an environment that’s safe and secure,” Reich said. “And the district is paying for that, essentially, by providing compensation to the parents of the nonverbal, autistic student.”

After the family reported discovering the swastika to school district police, officers conducted an investigation, which included interviews with school staff and a review of camera footage.

School officials said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal last year that they found “no evidence that would indicate the origin of the injuries.” The district didn’t speak to the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the settlement agreement, after multiple requests for a comment were made over the past couple days.

Reich said the Lawfare Project reached the settlement through negotiation. Lawyers for the family had filed a due process petition with the Nevada Department of Education, but did not have to proceed with a due process hearing, Reich added.

“We had prepared to move forward with the due process hearing and days before, we managed to negotiate a settlement agreement that was very favorable for our client and the client’s family,” Reich said.

Contact Peter Breen at pbreen@reviewjournal.com. Follow @breenreports on X.

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