Vegas school district to provide teachers with panic devices

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The metro Las Vegas school district will provide electronic panic-button devices to teachers as it moves to boost security in the wake of incidents that include a violent after-school attack that left a teacher injured and unconscious in her classroom.

In addition to providing teachers with panic devices equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, the Clark County School District will upgrade security cameras and ask police agencies to increase their presence at schools, officials said Tuesday.

The panic devices will be issued first at El Dorado High School, the site of last week’s attack. A 16-year-old student faces sex assault and attempted murder charges in the incident.

Escalating violence, including fights, assaults and brawls, in the district have prompted frustration among teachers, public safety officials and others.

“This cannot wait one more day,” Clark County Education Association President Marie Neisess said. “We must act now.”

“We have seen not an increase of calls, but an increase of the violence, a lack of empathy, and a lack of respect to our adult authority,” said Brigid Duffy, juvenile division director of the county District Attorney’s Office.

The sprawling district, the nation’s fifth-largest, has more than 300,000 students and 18,000 teachers at about 336 campuses.