The Clark County School District had received complaints of Kevin Child’s inappropriate behavior during school visits in 2014, six months before he was elected to the School Board and 2½ years before the system launched a formal investigation.
Records released by the district Wednesday portray Child as an arrogant and intimidating trustee, but the 23 heavily redacted pages raise even more questions about the scope of Child’s actions — and when officials first knew his behavior in schools was a problem.
District officials provided the documents only after a judge ordered them to do so in response to a Las Vegas Review-Journal lawsuit. A court hearing has been set for Tuesday to determine the district’s legal basis for not fulfilling the records request, unless the district complies with the order by noon Friday.
Citing the pending litigation with the Review-Journal, trustees declined to discuss matters involving Child at Thursday’s board meeting. Other district officials also declined comment Thursday.
Child dismissed the complaints as “playground noise,” arguing that it’s a smear campaign caused by his objections to the mandated reorganization of the school district.
“It’s pathetic,” he said of the claims. “And if there’s no names attached to it, here’s the deal: It’s nothing. Zero. Zilch. There’s no names there, all it is, is hearsay.”
The documents show a complaint against Child in April 2014, six months before he was elected trustee for District D, when staff became concerned with him talking to students about suicide at a guest speaker program.
Complaints continued throughout 2015 and 2016, but district officials didn’t formally confront Child until last March, according to a four-page investigate memo obtained independently by the Review-Journal in December.
That memo, which detailed an investigation that began in September, was not included among the records provided Wednesday by the district. It listed a broad range of allegations against Child, including claims that he commented on the “sexiness” of female employees’ clothing — one of several complaints that don’t appear in the district’s 23 redacted pages.
Still, district officials clearly fear retaliation from Child in some form, citing the need to carefully redact names of employees, schools and job titles.
“The District believes the identity of such persons should be protected for a number of reasons, including potential harassment or other adverse consequences,” Carlos McDade, district general counsel, wrote in a letter to the court.
Officials also overlooked or were unaware that Child had a history of alleged hostile and intimidating behavior even before his election to the School Board.
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The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors requested a temporary protection order against Child in May 2014, after the association’s attorney claimed that a confrontation with Child caused him to fear for his safety, according to court records.
That allegation closely mirrors other reported incidents with Child, including one made to the Metropolitan Police Department by a man named Edward Couture in 2006.
Couture told police that Child — a real estate agent — made threatening phone calls to him, demanding $50,000 for the sale of Couture’s property. Couture told Child he would only give him $5,000, since Child’s clients put bids on the property but sales never went through, according to the police report.
When Couture again declined to give him $50,000, Couture told police, Child told him to watch his back because he was “Gonna get me, gonna kick my a—” and that he was going to kill him.
Couture told police that Child — who was running for a political office at the time — was going to “use his political powers to have Couture’s contractor license revoked.”
Child said he never heard of Couture and that the report — which he never saw — is about the wrong person.
“Why would I threaten anybody?” he said. “That’s not my demeanor.”
That reported incident is similar in nature to what administrative union director Stephen Augspurger claimed Child told him — that Child was going to kick his a—. Child has denied that threat as well.
Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky restricted Child’s access to schools and administrative offices in December, requiring him to obtain a written invitation for visits outside of public events.
Skorkowsky again declined to comment Thursday when asked whether the district took appropriate action or how much trustees might have known and when. He has said only one thing since the complaints and allegations against Trustee Child have surfaced.
“We are a $2.4 billion corporation,” he said in December. “I wouldn’t do anything without evidence.”
Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at 702-383-4630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.