Following Gov. Brian Sandoval’s lead, Attorney General Adam Laxalt met with educators and law enforcement from across the state Wednesday to discuss their shared role in ensuring Nevada schools are safe.
“Ensuring that our children are safe in school is one of the most important responsibilities of our communities,” he said.
He said the goal of the summit is to create a system of cooperation and information sharing that prevents crises and enables effective responses to any incidents or disasters.
He said the goal is to discover what different school districts and law enforcement agencies are doing already, identify gaps and discuss changes that can be made to improve safety to students.
Christy McGill, director of the Education Department’s Safe and Respectful Learning Environment office, said despite concerns raised in the wake of recent school shootings, “our schools are some of the safest places in our community.”
But she and other educators in the room made it clear as McGill put it, “we can’t put more stuff on our teachers.”
Laxalt said he was pleased at the reports from different counties around the state indicating police agencies and school officials are already working well together to that plans are in place and to ensure the efficient and timely flow of information on potential problems and dangers to school safety.
“It’s impressive to see how much everyone is responding,” said Laxalt.
Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong said his agency already has joint agreements in place with the school district.
“We’re miles ahead already,” he said.
That was echoed by officials from the Washoe and Clark County school districts as well as Humboldt County, who said they too have established good communications between school districts and law enforcement.
Laxalt said future meetings will bring together participants to find solutions. He said one concern centers on law enforcement’s response to mental health issues.
He said some include creating mobile response teams that include mental health professionals and improving the background check system to give law enforcement on the street better access to mental health information on individuals.
Sandoval held a meeting with 15 of Nevada’s 17 school district superintendents earlier this week to begin fleshing out ways to improve school safety.