MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA

 

Name of Organization:

Commission on School Safety and Juvenile Violence

(Assembly Bill 686, Chapter 607, Statutes of Nevada 1999)

 

Date and Time of Meeting:

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

9:30 a.m.

 

Place of Meeting:

Legislative Building

Room 3138

401 South Carson Street

Carson City, Nevada

 

Note:

Some members of the Commission may be attending the meeting and other persons may observe the meeting and provide testimony, through a simultaneous videoconference conducted at the following location:

 

 

Grant Sawyer State Office Building

Room 4401

555 East Washington Avenue

Las Vegas, Nevada

 

If you cannot attend the meeting, you can listen to it live over the Internet.  The address for the legislative website is http://www.leg.state.nv.us.  For audio broadcasts, click on the link “Listen to Meetings Live on the Internet.”

 

A G E N D A

 

I.

Opening Remarks by the Chair and Introductions

      Senator Valerie Wiener

 

*II.

Approval of the Minutes of the April 13, 2000, Meeting

 

III.

Public Comment

 

*IV.

 

 

 

 

 

V.

 

Work Session — Discussion and Action on Final Recommendations (See Attached “Work Session Document” for a Summary of Proposals Compiled from Previous Meetings and Correspondence)

 

 

 

Adjournment

*Denotes items on which the commission may take action.

 

 

Note:

 

We are pleased to make reasonable accommodations for members of the public who are disabled and wish to attend the meeting.  If special arrangements for the meeting are necessary, please notify the Research Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, in writing, at the Legislative Building, 401 South Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 89701-4747, or call Christine Kuhl at (775) 684-6825 as soon as possible.

 

 

Notice of this meeting was posted in the following Carson City, Nevada, locations:  Blasdel Building, 209 East Musser Street; Capitol Press Corps, Basement, Capitol Building; City Hall, 201 North Carson Street; Legislative Building, 401 South Carson Street; and Nevada State Library, 100 Stewart Street.  Notice of this meeting was faxed for posting to the following Las Vegas, Nevada, locations:  Clark County Office, 500 South Grand Central Parkway; and Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 East Washington Avenue.

 

 


WORK SESSION DOCUMENT

 

Commission on School Safety and Juvenile Violence

(Assembly Bill 686, Chapter 607, Statutes of Nevada 1999)

 

May 24, 2000

 

 

This work session document was prepared by the staff of the Commission on School Safety and Juvenile Violence (Assembly Bill 686).  It contains a summary of major recommendations that have been presented in public hearings and correspondence during the course of the study.  Organized by topic headings, it is designed as a working document to assist the members of the Commission in making decisions during the work session. 

 

The proposed recommendations do not necessarily have the support or opposition of the Commission.  These proposals are simply compiled and organized so the members may review and decide if they should be adopted, changed, rejected, or further considered.  The source of each recommendation and date it was submitted is noted in parentheses.  Any recommendations adopted by the Commission will be submitted to the Legislative Commission for consideration.  The recommendations will be highlighted in the Commission’s report, and any recommendations for legislation will be included in the report as bill draft requests (BDRs).  The report will be submitted to the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau for transmittal to the 2001 Nevada Legislature. 

 

Under the provisions of A.B. 686, the Commission is authorized three BDRs, one of which must be the emergency response plan to incidents of school violence (herein referred to as “emergency response plan”). 

 

 

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN TO INCIDENTS OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE

 

1.       Amend section 8 of the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to include school psychologists as a mandatory member of the district-wide planning committee.  (Recommended by William Miller, Psychological Services, Clark County School District, through correspondence dated March 13, 2000.  See Exhibit A.)

 

2.       Amend section 9 of the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to include school psychologists as a mandatory member of each school’s implementation team.  (Recommended by William Miller, Psychological Services, Clark County School District, through correspondence dated March 13, 2000.  See Exhibit A.)

 

3.       Amend sections 8 and 9 of the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to allow for a district-wide plan that addresses broad based contents while requiring site-based plans to contain the specifics (as opposed to the district developing the more specific plan and allowing for schools to make exceptions in certain circumstances).   (Recommended by Leonard Paul, Assistant Superintendent, Clark County School District, through correspondence, dated April 13, 2000.  See Exhibit B.)

 

 4.      Amend section 8, subsection 2, of the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to include language concerning communications with the media in the event of a school violence incident.  (Recommended by Governor Kenny C. Guinn, through correspondence dated February 2, 2000.) 

 

5.       Amend the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to include specific language regarding confidentiality and the dissemination of the plan.  (Recommended by Chairwoman Wiener.)

 

6.       Amend the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to grant school districts the authority to seek creative funding mechanisms (i.e., insurance companies) for school safety training.  (Recommended by Chairwoman Wiener.)

 

7.       Amend the emergency response plan, as adopted by the Commission, to clarify the role of private schools under the plan.  (Recommended by the Legal Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau as “clean-up” language.)

 

8.       Draft and enact legislation to codify the emergency response plan in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), as adopted by the Commission which may include any adopted amendments (such as the ones outlined above), to incidents of school violence.   This plan provides a framework for school districts in Nevada to develop local response plans.  (Mandated by A.B. 686 and adopted by the Commission at the January 5, 2000, meeting.  See Exhibit C.)

 

 

PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS

 

Abuse Prevention

 

9.       Include a statement in the final report urging school districts to add or expand upon programs addressing child abuse and neglect, including community awareness, early detection training and treatment options for both the aggressor and victim.  (Recommended by D.J. Stutz, Nevada Parent Teacher Association, April 13, 2000.) 


After-School Programs

 

10.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging schools to offer a wider variety of after-school programs.  Testimony indicated that after-school programs assist in keeping youth occupied during peak crime periods while fostering involvement and interest in productive hobbies.  (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.) 

 

Alternative Classrooms

 

11.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging Nevada’s Department of Education to offer educator training regarding the key components of Assembly Bill 521 (Chapter 591, Statutes of Nevada 1999).  The bill addresses school discipline and provides funding for alternative pilot schools.   However, it was reported that schools are inconsistently implementing the bill, which has resulted in many students being expelled or suspended from school without adequate alternatives.  (Recommended by Debbie Cahill, Nevada State Education Association, April 13, 2000.)

 

Asset Building

 

12.     Include a statement in the final report urging local school district board of trustees to implement the assets building approach into school curriculums.  The assets approach assists in identifying the positive aspects of a student’s life and provides a framework to nurture and build upon such positive attributes.  (Recommended by David Bash, Juvenile Justice Consultant, January 5, 2000, and March 7, 2000; and Garth Winckler, United Way, April 13, 2000.) 

 

Bullying

 

13.     Include a statement in the final report that encourages schools to address the school bullying problem by placing additional adults on school campuses and playgrounds during specified times.  This could be accomplished by using parent volunteers.  (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.)

 

14.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging school districts to adopt policies, in accordance with the existing provisions of NRS which requires the suspension or expulsion of pupils under certain circumstances, that take into consideration whether a student was acting in defense of another.  For example, students who defend a fellow classmate in a bullying situation should not necessarily be suspended or reprimanded for performing a good deed.  (Recommended by Stan Olsen, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, April 13, 2000.)

 


Community-Based Programs

 

15.     Include a statement in the final report supporting innovative community‑based efforts to prevent school and juvenile violence.  Active participants in these efforts should include, but are not limited to, businesses, concerned citizens, local nonprofit organizations, and school districts.  For example, the “Zero Tolerance – Zero Weapons” program operated by the Clark County Education Association provides community-wide outreach, presentations, and training in an effort to address and prevent juvenile violence.  Another example is the “Hands are Not for Hurting” program in Salem, Oregon, which includes a community-wide awareness campaign and asks businesses, parents, and students to make a pledge of nonviolence.   (Recommended by Cheri Lovre, Consultant, November 9, 1999, and Kevin Nielsen, Program Director, Family-School-Community Partnership Program, Clark County Education Association, March 7, 2000.)

 

16.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging local chambers of commerce to adopt or expand upon programs such as job shadowing, where youth spend time with adults in the workplace.  (Recommended by Ruth Urban, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, April 13, 2000.) 

 

Firearms

 

17.     Include a statement in the final report that supports community efforts to restrict the accessibility of firearms to juveniles.  For example, “Operation Cease Fire” in Boston, Massachusetts, has successfully disrupted the flow of firearms within the community by prioritizing firearm-related prosecutions and suppressing firearm possession in areas with a large concentration of gang activity.  (Recommended by Julie Thomerson, National Conference of State Legislatures, March 7, 2000.)

 

Gangs

 

18.     Include a statement in the final report that strongly encourages Nevada’s Department of Education and Office of the Attorney General to include within their budgets, funding for a gang prevention pilot program.  For example, the pilot program could be based on the “Gang Resistance Education and Training” program (G.R.E.A.T.) that has been implemented across the country.  The program uses law enforcement to teach conflict resolution skills and gang resistance to middle school children.  (Recommended by Julie Thomerson, National Conference of State Legislatures, March 7, 2000.)

 


Mentoring Programs

 

19.     Include a statement in the final report urging schools and communities to adopt or expand upon mentoring programs.  Mentoring programs place a caring adult with a child, and services range from tutoring to other personal and family support.  (Recommended by Garth Winckler, United Way, April 13, 2000.)

 

 Parental Involvement

 

20.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging local youth and family services departments to establish programs specifically targeted for parents whose children are beginning to demonstrate warning signs of violence.  Testimony indicated that parents often only have access to programs once their child has actually committed a violent act, whereas it may be more beneficial and preventative to receive such services on the front end.  (Recommended by Stan Olsen, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, April 13, 2000.)

 

21.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging schools to implement a parent network program, such as the one used at various schools in Clark County.   Participating parents sign a pledge stating that all activities hosted by their household will be supervised and free of alcohol, drugs, and weapons.  (Recommended by Chairwoman Wiener, March 7, 2000.)

 

22.     Include a statement in the final report urging local departments of youth and family services to provide parenting skills, problem-solving, and support programs for parents whose children are involved in the juvenile justice system. (Recommended by Assemblywoman Bonnie L. Parnell, Commission member, March 7, 2000.)

 

Peer Mediation and Counseling

 

23.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging schools to expand upon or implement peer mediation programs.  Additionally, encourage schools that have such programs to use participating students in the promotional and recruiting aspects of the program.  (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.) 

 

24.     Include a statement in the final report supporting schools to implement or expand upon “peer hotlines,” which provide students with an anonymous opportunity to discuss issues of importance and problems with peers.  (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.)

 


25.     Compose a letter from the Chairwoman and the Commission to the Nevada State Bar Association, encouraging the solicitation of attorneys to form a cooperative relationship with local school districts, in order to teach alternative dispute resolution and mediation skills to both staff and students.  (Recommended by Chairwoman Wiener, April 13, 2000.)

 

Research and Evaluation

 

26.     Include a statement in the final report urging Nevada’s Department of Education to adopt program evaluation standards to better identify effective programs currently used by school districts throughout the State.  Rather than implementing new programs, resources could be better spent on identifying the components of effective programming and duplicating the results.  (Recommended by Michael Fitzgerald, Nevada’s Department of Education, April 13, 2000.)

 

27.     Compose a letter from the Chairwoman and the Commission to local school districts encouraging them to consider implementing or adapting components from the “Blue Prints for Violence Prevention” list.  The “Blue Prints” identify ten exemplary programs that have proven to be successful in deterring delinquency, substance abuse, and violence.  (Recommended by Jane Grady, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado, March 7, 2000.)

 

School Assemblies/Pep Rallies

 

28.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging schools to hold antiviolence school assemblies.  Such an assembly would ideally be organized by students and include entertainment, motivational speakers, and police officers.  (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.)

 

School Counselors

 

29.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging schools to inform parents and students about the differing roles of school counselors and school psychologists.  Testimony indicated that there has been some confusion about the role of the school counselor and students are confused as to who they should access for academic guidance, personal advice or general assistance.  (Recommended by Student Representatives and Barbara Baxter, Commission member, April 13, 2000.)

 

30.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging school counselors to seek continuing education that encompasses asset building and risk factor identification.  (Recommended by Chairwoman Wiener, March 7, 2000.)

 


31.     Include a statement in the final report which supports the continuing efforts of school districts, within the state education budget process, to request special funding for elementary school counseling positions.   Testimony indicated that these positions assist in providing early intervention and prevention services.   (Recommended by Jane Kadoich, Assistant Director, Clark County School District Guidance Program, March 7, 2000.) 

 

School Staffing

 

32.     Include a statement in the final report which supports the continuing efforts of school districts, within the state education budget process, to hire additional school support staff that assist with providing services for youth at risk (i.e., counselors and nurses).    Testimony indicated that programs cannot be implemented to their full potential without the proper staffing.  (Recommended by Assemblywoman Bonnie L. Parnell, Commission member, April 13, 2000.)

 

Social Workers

 

33.     Draft legislation to require school districts to employ professional social workers, particularly in at-risk schools.  Correspondence indicated that social workers offer unique intervention and prevention services and are able to link families and students to community support services.   (Recommended by the National Association of Social Workers, Nevada Chapter, through correspondence dated December 20, 1999.)

 

Training

 

34.     Include a statement in the final report encouraging school districts to provide faculty training about crime reporting and student discipline at a combined education/training day.  (Recommended by Phil Gervasi, Clark County School District Police Officer’s Association, April 13, 2000.)

 

School Uniforms

 

35.     Include a statement in the final report that encourages schools to adopt school uniform policies, in accordance with NRS 392.458, which authorizes the boards of trustees of school districts to establish school uniform policies.  Testimony indicated that uniforms have been successful in reducing school violence and assist in providing the school with a sense of equality.   (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.)

 


Zero Tolerance

 

36.     Draft legislation requiring Nevada’s Department of Education to adopt a zero‑tolerance program based on a point system.   Further, require each school district to develop policies outlining each violation and the point value attached to it.  The school district would also need to develop, in accordance with the existing provisions of NRS requiring the suspension or expulsion of pupils under certain circumstances, the point value threshold and determine the point at which a student would be removed from the traditional school setting and placed in an alternative environment.  (See NRS 392.4655, which sets forth the conditions under which a pupil is deemed a habitual disciplinary problem and NRS 392.466, which requires the expulsion or suspension of a pupil under certain circumstances.)   (Recommended by Student Representatives, April 13, 2000.)

 

 

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING SCHOOL SAFETY

 

Reporting

 

37.     Draft legislation requiring school administrators to report criminal and violent acts perpetrated by students to the appropriate law enforcement authority.  Additionally, provide penalties for failure to accurately do so.   In particular, use NRS 432B.220 (reports of abuse or neglect) as model language for the mandatory reporting and associated penalties.  (See NRS 202.870 to 202.894, inclusive, requiring the reporting of certain sexual or violent offenses against children.)  (Recommended by Phil Gervasi, Clark County School District Police Officer’s Association, October 7, 1999; December 2, 1999; January 5, 2000; March 7, 2000; and April 13, 2000.)

 

38.     Draft legislation that mandates campus police and school officials to report felonies or delinquent acts (under NRS 62.040) that occur on school campuses to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.  (Recommended by Stan Olsen, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, April 13, 2000.)

 

39.     Draft legislation that would allow for school police departments to expand their jurisdiction to premises immediately adjacent to, or within a specified radius of, a school campus.  This would allow for school police to make arrests outside of school property and would also assist with the reporting of criminal activity and other unusual incidents in and around school campuses.  (Recommended by Walter C. Lyman, Washoe County School District Police Officer’s Association, through correspondence dated November 17, 1999, and Phil Gervasi, Clark County School District Police Officer’s Association, April 13, 2000.)