Even as new Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara reviews his predecessor’s policy banning Trustee Kevin Child from schools and most other district facilities, the controversial School Board member stands accused of creating another disturbance.
An incident Monday involving Child and School Board President Deanna Wright in her office at the district’s Sahara Avenue executive building led to Wright calling security and asking for Child to be escorted out of the building.
Wright told the Review-Journal she had just arrived at her office when Child asked to speak to her. She said he became aggressive, raising one hand above his head and pointing a finger in her face.
She said she felt threatened by his behavior and that it wasn’t the first time Child has treated her that way.
“I have spoken to Dr. Jara about my concerns. It is important to me that all employees and trustees feel safe at all times while on CCSD property,” Wright said.
Child acknowledged that he met with Wright to discuss “internal workings in the school district,” but denied acting in a threatening manner. He said he left voluntarily after the discussion concluded and didn’t know security was called.
“You guys need to report something different. All this stuff is fake news,” Child told the Review-Journal.
Neither Child nor Wright would elaborate on the subject of the conversation.
‘Reviewing the situation’
The situation will test how Jara will deal with the trustee, who has long alleged that former Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky and others in the district have been running a smear campaign against him because of his demands for financial transparency.
Jara’s review of Skorkowsky’s controversial memos — barring Child from most school district facilities and including specific procedures for how staff should handle the matter if Child arrived unannounced and uninvited — started before Monday’s incident, said spokeswoman Kirsten Searer.
“Superintendent Jara is reviewing the situation, including all previous information. Nothing has changed as of today,” she told the Review-Journal.
But Child said as far as he’s concerned, the memos ceased to be enforceable as soon as Skorkowsky retired at the end of June.
“His memos go away. I’m not banned from schools,” he said.
The first-term trustee, who is up for re-election this year, has a history of causing problems at schools and with employees. Skorkowsky’s memos, one in December 2016 and another in October 2017, were the only actions taken by the district or the School Board to attempt to curb his behavior.
Documents obtained by the Review-Journal show the concerns raised about Child’s behavior dated to April 2014, before he was elected as a trustee in November 2014. Staff members wrote to district officials after Child began having impromptu suicide talks with children in schools.
The reports obtained so far — the Review-Journal is suing the school district for a full disclosure of records — also include reports that Child commented on the “sexiness” of an employee’s clothing and confronted an administrator after high school football players knelt during the national anthem at a football game.
Child has repeatedly said he has never done anything to make people feel uncomfortable, even after trustees settled a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him by former Deputy Superintendent Kim Wooden. The settlement included a provision changing Wooden’s contract so she wouldn’t have to work on board projects or could work from home.
After the settlement, Child threatened to sue the school district, although no lawsuit has yet been filed.
This week’s confrontation wasn’t the first time Child and Wright have tangled.
In May, Wright told the Review-Journal that she believes Child, along with embattled Associate Superintendent Edward Goldman, was spreading personal information about her husband’s employment with the school district in retaliation for her voting against hiring then-Chief Academic Officer Mike Barton as the next superintendent.
The accusation came after the Review-Journal reported that Skorkowsky intervened in 2014 after Wright’s husband, Jason, was not recommended by the human resources department to go through a district-run alternative teaching licensure program. Skorkowsky overruled the recommendation and directed the department to allow Wright’s husband into the program.
That revelation came after a separate report that Jason Wright, now a licensed Clark County teacher, was transferred from Harris Elementary School to another school this year after a fifth-grader accused him of kicking his hand and grabbing his collar. Child Protective Services investigated the allegation but found the complaint was unsubstantiated, according to documentation provided by the district.
An outside investigator has been brought on to determine whether the district followed proper protocol in the situation.
Both Child and Goldman have denied any role in leaking the information.