Las Vegas mother sues SDCC over allegation teacher kicked daughter as part of ‘play’

CCSD teachers and administrators deny allegations in response, internal communications

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas mother is suing the Clark County School District over allegations that a teacher kicked her daughter in a so-called “kicking game.” “, according to court documents.

“I knew something was wrong because she was acting different from her norm,” Jessica Hernandez said. Hernandez’s daughter is on the autism spectrum and has trouble forming sentences. The 8 News Now I-Team does not name the child.

Until October 2021, Hernandez’s daughter was a student at Joseph Neal STEAM Academy, an elementary school near Tropical Parkway and Jones Boulevard in the Northwest Valley. But something happened that caused Hernandez to pull her daughter out of class.

In the lawsuit, Hernandez claims her daughter, who was 7 at the time, was subjected to “physical force”, “verbal abuse” and “humiliation”.

Jessica Hernandez (center) speaks with her attorney, Neal Hyman (right) about their lawsuit against the SDCC. (KLAS)

“It hurt his feelings and it hurt his body,” Hernandez said.

The lawsuit refers to an incident involving “playing a ‘game’ where the teacher kicks the student on the buttocks and/or legs. Hernandez alleges that a teacher played the so-called “game” with another student in the class and then played it with her daughter.

The I-Team has filed a request for public registration with the SDCC for any emails regarding the alleged “game”. In an email, a teacher responded to an admin saying “there was no kicking involved” and “the game involved the teacher lightly bumping/tapping the toe of her shoe against the student’s heel/ankle”.

“The teacher lifted her foot and kicked the boy,” Hernandez said. “My daughter took this to kick. She said it was kicking.

The lawsuit claims the alleged kicks “constituted a battery.” Because of this, Hernandez said the CCSD should not only have informed him, but should have filed the appropriate documents as well. No employee filed the Form 624 required for “aversive intervention,” the lawsuit said.

In the lawsuit, Hernandez claims her daughter, who was 7 at the time, was subjected to “physical force”, “verbal abuse” and “humiliation”. (KLAS)

Court documents reveal that the SDCC police did not open an investigation and that no cameras were recording in the classroom. The request for I-Team recordings was also found while there were cameras recording in certain parts of the school building, the footage was overwritten when requested.

“If they don’t report it and they don’t record it and make sure somebody else knows about it, then I have to do it,” Hernandez said.

The principals and teachers involved met with Hernandez several days later.

“Regarding the ‘kick game’, it was decided that it would no longer be played in class, and it was not,” a teacher wrote in a document obtained by the I. -Team.

Jessica Hernandez’s daughter attended Joseph M. Neal STEAM Academy in the Northwest Valley of Las Vegas. (KLAS)

“The teacher explained to me that she had indeed kicked my child, but it was part of a game,” Hernandez said of the reunion.

Internal documents obtained by the I-Team indicate that the teachers vehemently deny the claims, saying “the accusations…are completely false.”

“This really is one big school district out of control,” Hernandez attorney Neal Hyman said. “The mother must be warned. You have to go up the chain of command.

“Could this just be a case of misunderstanding, we were playing a game?” I-Team’s David Charns asked Hernandez and Hyman.

“No,” Hernandez said. She is now homeschooling her daughter.

Internal communications that the 8 News Now I-Team obtained from a teacher to her administrator say, “Regarding the ‘kick game’, it has been decided that this will no longer be played in class. , and it was not.” (KLAS)

“I have a hard time keeping her out of my sight now,” she said.

Hernandez said her daughter loved her school and made progress, but then regressed in the months before Hernandez finally pulled her out.

“I feel like we’ve been cut off from the outside world even more,” Hernandez said.

The I-Team asked the district to comment on the lawsuit, but a spokesperson said the SDCC does not comment on ongoing litigation. District attorneys, however, deny the allegations in court documents. A teacher wrote in documents obtained by the I-Team that the allegations were “offensive”.

A filing in last week’s case says Hernandez and the district are settling out of court, though terms of that agreement were not available Monday.

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