WCSD Holds Press Conference After Sparks Police Release Findings - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

WCSD Holds Press Conference After Sparks Police Release Findings on Shooting

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The Washoe County School District held a press conference Tuesday afternoon - after Sparks Police released findings into last year's shooting at Sparks Middle School.

The Board of Trustees says they're still healing from last October's deadly shooting - and they have emphasized school safety as one of their goals.
"That reiterates our dedication to our schools, that we want to make them the safest place that they can be so our students can grow and learn," says Barbara Clark, Board of Trustees President.

The Board of Trustees thanked everyone involved, like police and the community for their support during all this. They say they're also going to take a look at the report from Sparks Police.

"To see what we, as a district, can do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again," Clark said. "We will look at what we did right, and where we need to improve."

Since the shooting happened, the school district's put together an Emergency Planning Team to see what they can do to keep our students safe.

"We have health safety forums," Clark said. "We are in the process of developing a safety committee that's going to look at security issues at our schools."

The report shows there weren't any instances of Jose Reyes being bullied, which is defined by Nevada law as someone over time being attacked physically, verbally, or in writing.

From NRS 138.122:
“Bullying” defined. “Bullying” means a willful act which is written, verbal or physical, or a course of conduct on the part of one or more persons which is not authorized by law and which exposes a person repeatedly and over time to one or more negative actions which is highly offensive to a reasonable person and:
      1. Is intended to cause or actually causes the person to suffer harm or serious emotional distress;
      2. Exploits an imbalance in power between the person engaging in the act or conduct and the person who is the subject of the act or conduct;
      3. Poses a threat of immediate harm or actually inflicts harm to another person or to the property of another person;
      4. Places the person in reasonable fear of harm or serious emotional distress; or
      5. Creates an environment which is hostile to a pupil by interfering with the education of the pupil.
      (Added to NRS by 2009, 687  A 2011, 2245  2013, 16552138)


"But, we were also aware that there was teasing," said Washoe County School District Superintendent, Pedro Martinez. "We also are aware that none of our staff knew about it. In fact, the parents didn't know about it."

We then asked what the school district's doing to make sure kids aren't being bullied or overly-teased, and Martinez says they're trying to expand a program called Positive Behavior Support, which teaches students to tell an adult if there is a problem.

"We're one of eight districts that are implementing social and emotional-learning standards that are innovative standards that are embedded in our curriculum to help children be aware of their own behaviors to be assertive," he said.

The Washoe County School District is also asking families to get involved, and talk to their kids.

"If our students are not comfortable sharing with an adult what they see, we know that this will be difficult for us to prevent in the future," Martinez said.

If students feel threatened, they're urged to call School Secret Witness at (775) 329-6666 for Reno-Sparks and (775) 283-1799 for Carson City schools.

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Written by Adam Varahachaikol
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