Combating Violence in Las Vegas Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for

 A spate of school related violence and shootings across Las Vegas schools have left the community feeling bewildered.  On February 15, Christopher Privett was shot dead by a classmate as he made his way home.  Then, a student of Bonanza High school was shot and wounded, although the police were reluctant to connect that crime to Las Vegas schools since it happened inside an apartment building, which should give you some idea of how safe Vegas really is.   Then, what started as just another high school fight turned ugly when a student picked out a gun, and shot Victor Bravo a sophomore at Western High School.  That incident left him seriously wounded.
All these incidents have taken place in the space of just a few weeks in Las Vegas schools, and the community has rallied around to stem the problem before it takes control of the school system.   These random acts of violence in Las Vegas schools led the community – parents, teachers, and community leaders – to meet at Knudson High School to brainstorm the reasons for this surge in violence and the most effective ways to heal the community. 
At the meeting, a number of suggestions were made, including keeping lines of communication open for students in Las Vegas schools, so any frustration can be properly dealt with to avoid the need for matters going to gunpoint.   Christopher Privett’s father, Mike Privett appealed to the community to make serious efforts to ensure that what happened to his son would never happen to another youngster.
There seemed to be some disunity among members of the community.  Some people were of the opinion that school violence has existed in Las Vegas schools for years now, but no attention was paid to it, because these acts of violence were restricted to students from poorer communities.  Other Las Vegas schools in the past like Canyon Springs High School, Cheyenne High School, and Mojave High School have been the scene of violent conflict between students, but many felt, were ignored because of the fact that their students have hefty minority and lower class section students.
One of the worst incidents of violence affecting Las Vegas schools was the shooting at a city bus stop which left 4 students from Mojave High School dead.  The community now seems to realize that turning a blind eye to such problems when the victims are not “one of our own” could actually have a devastating effect.  As a community,. Las Vegas schools need to stand up and speak when a student from any class of society is made a victim of violence, no matter what his background. 
I hope that these incidents will be an eye opener to Las Vegas schools, and that they will bring about much needed change in the class differentiation that seems to be one of the root causes of this violence.