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New to CCSD student registration packets: Safe gun storage guidance

Clark County schools will soon begin including flyers in student registration materials that explain the importance of safely securing any firearms at home.

The Clark County school board on Thursday approved a safe storage resolution that directs the district to send such a notice home within existing registration packets, with the aim of reducing intentional and unintentional shootings.

Parents are asked only to sign a letter stating that they have read all the registration material, according to the district’s chief of staff, Christopher Bernier, who was charged with shepherding the resolution.

Bernier said a committee worked to ensure the document was not legally binding, nor a registry of gun owners, but simply a resolution that “speaks to the safe storage of guns.”

The letters will be available in multiple languages, according to Bernier. But as registration for the next school year has already begun, the district will have to consider how and when to get the flyer in front of families, he said.

The safe storage resolution was tabled in January after some trustees raised concern that district staff had not been given input in its creation, and that they did not have the time to do so amid schools reopening. Board President Linda Cavazos commended staff for bringing the policy back in June as promised.

The policy drew overwhelming support in spoken and recorded public comment from parents, teachers and mental health professionals who described the policy as apolitical.

“This is precisely the school district’s job — to communicate good practices to our community, especially when it concerns our kids,” said speaker Christa Casillas.

“This is not a partisan issue; this is about keeping our kids safe,” said Nikki Ryan, a parent of six district students. “One child’s life is worth it.”

Some speakers also encouraged the board to do more, like direct families to resources and training on gun safety.

In written comment, more members of the public said the district was overstepping its bounds in sending such a letter home.

Trustee Katie Williams also said she did not support the resolution, as a paper alone was unlikely to save lives. However, she said she would support a resolution if an amendment could be included on training and resources for gun safety.

“I don’t believe it’s our place to put this stuff in there,” Williams said.

Williams was the lone trustee to vote against the resolution at about 8:30 p.m.

The gun storage resolution was one of several hot-button issues on Thursday’s agenda, which drew approximately two hours worth of public comment, according to Cavazos.

The board was next scheduled to hear presentations on the development of its anti-racism policy, as well as proposed changes to how families can send their students to schools other than their zoned schools. But as discussion began on the anti-racism policy, an argument appeared to unfold amid audience members in the boardroom.

The argument prompted trustees to briefly evacuate the board room while a public livestream of the meeting was cut. Discussion, along with the livestream, resumed just before 9 p.m. More information on the incident was not immediately available.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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