23 Mar Governor Lombardo Scapegoats Restorative Justice for Violence in Schools During Bill Testimony
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2023
Contact: Will Pregman, email@example.com, 702.752.0656
Governor Lombardo Scapegoats Restorative Justice for Violence in Schools During Bill Testimony
CARSON CITY, NV – Today, Governor Joe Lombardo testified before the Assembly Committee on Education in support of bill AB330, dubbed the ‘Safer and Supportive Schools Act’, designed to roll back much of 2019’s AB168, a bill that required additional investigation and intervention with a student before suspension or expulsion. While reports of violent incidents in schools have driven the desire to blame ‘restorative justice’ policies, the multitude of factors, including income, housing status, or home life, influencing students’ behavioral health demands a more reasoned response.
“What Governor Lombardo is doing is clearly a political stunt. He failed to protect Clark County as Sheriff and his proposals will not make schools any safer.” said Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress. “As we saw yesterday, CCSD Police already copied tactics from Metro PD in their work. That has failed miserably and created a festering violent environment in our schools. The last thing we need is more of Lombardo’s backwards plans that don’t protect anyone. We especially don’t need plans from a Governor who has made it abundantly clear that he does not support public education in the first place.
Attacks on restorative justice have been a talking point for Governor Lombardo since the campaign trail, and yet we are still waiting for his solution for violence in schools; and no, simply expelling more students or adding more police doesn’t cut it. We work with educators and organizations supporting them every single day. It’s not lost on us that educators are struggling right now, with a lack of support in the classroom, to inadequate pay. We also are extremely concerned about safety in schools, particularly as it relates to the threat of gun violence, a topic the Governor has made no stance clear on, in spite of questions from the press and his own career in law enforcement. We are not unsympathetic to the horror countless Nevada educators have had to experience while simply doing their incredibly important jobs. That said, It’s shameful for the Governor to use the experiences of these educators, and the lives of our struggling students, as a pretense for reinstituting policies that result in students winding up being spat out the bottom of the criminal justice system, in which they have a permanent mark on their record as they are just getting started in their lives. Such policies contribute to overall violent crime, through recidivism, decreasing a person’s connection to their community, and ostracism from civil society.
It’s no wonder that a former Clark County Sheriff who oversaw increases in reported crimes, while his department’s budget ballooned and services became less efficient, has such a short-sighted vision of protecting communities and keeping them safe. We must be about solutions, not slogans. We oppose AB330, because simply booting students out of school is not a solution. Students who commit violence against other students or their teachers need to be held accountable and face intervention, no doubt. But from a standpoint of public policy, we must support policies that foster a healthy society as a whole, not poorly thought-out, reactionary, soundbites. We hope the Governor can make time to meet with parents, educators, and students alike to create discipline policy actually supported by the community. It was clear from the PAC ad released yesterday that this is nothing but another sad attempt at the Governor to use this critical issue for his own political gain.”
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About Battle Born Progress: Battle Born Progress, through strategic communication efforts, empowers, engages and mobilizes Nevada voters to build a state where everyone has a fair opportunity to succeed. We support, engage, and mobilize the progressive community through bold leadership, strategic communications, accountability, and education. We are on the cutting edge of new media and are the go-to source for progressive issues and advocacy for traditional media. Learn more at https://battlebornprogress.org/.