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Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2022 elections

WCSD trustees prep for open District E seat, discuss student discipline plan

An image of the Washoe County School District Administration Building
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio

Washoe County School District Board of Trustees discussed student discipline and how to fill Board President Angie Taylor’s seat after her election to the Nevada Assembly at last week’s meeting.

During its Election Day session, the board discussed Taylor’s District E seat over the initial protest of Trustee Jeff Church. Church thought the board would have more time to discuss a potential vacancy; however, state law says newly-elected assembly members must take office the day after Election Day if a special session is called before the start of the 2023 legislative session, and Taylor wanted to make sure a plan for filling her seat was approved.

“My biggest concern is the people in District E. That is my district that I have been honored to represent for almost eight years,” Taylor said. “We’ve worked together; we’ve worked through some things. I’ve tried to be there for them. They have been there for me, and my intention is to advocate to get them floor representation as early as possible.”

Since the meeting, the Associated Press has called Taylor’s race in her favor. The Democrat beat Republican Carmen Ortiz by 16 percent in Assembly District 27.

Candidates interested in the District E seat must apply by November 15.

District staff also requested approval to submit the district’s student behavior manual and matrix to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert. Multiple trustees, including Beth Smith, requested further discussion so they could include their priorities in future iterations of the plan.

“We can include our intentionality, our values, our priorities to protect teachers and the right for an uninterrupted learning environment,” Smith offered.

Smith also shared that addressing student behavior is the number one concern of parents she talks to. Despite her call for future agenda items regarding discipline, the trustees voted unanimously to approve this version of the plan.

The submission process is required by 2019’s state Assembly Bill 168, also known as the restorative justice bill, that looked to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline and reform student disciplinary practices in Nevada.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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