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Former Las Vegas teacher brutally beaten by student sues CCSD

Updated April 4, 2024 - 7:45 pm

A former Eldorado High School teacher who was brutally beaten by a student in her classroom is alleging the Clark County School District knew that its schools were beset by a “lack of safety and security” but failed to take timely action.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the former teacher who identifies herself in the lawsuit by the pseudonym Sade Doe alleges that the district never told her about what the lawsuit alleges were “concerns of violence at lack of security at the high school” before she became a teacher there.

Nor was there any “formal training relating to teacher safety against violent acts by students,” alleges the lawsuit, which was filed in the District Court.

“CCSD knew about the lack of safety and security at CCSD schools, including Eldorado High School, and failed to take proper action sooner,” the lawsuit alleges.

The student, then-16-year-old 11th grader Jonathan Martinez Garcia, attacked the teacher on April 7, 2022.

He pleaded guilty in April 2023 to attempted murder, attempted sexual assault and battery with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm and in June 2023 was sentenced to between 16 and 40 years in prison.

Public defender Tyler Gaston had argued that Martinez Garcia’s behavior had been caused by severe side effects of the asthma medication Singulair, also known by the generic name Montelukast.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal does not typically identify victims of sex crimes. In this case, the victim agreed to be identified by her first name, Sade, and through photographs.

‘Imprisoned’ mentally and physically

In Martinez Garcia’s sentencing hearing, the teacher told District Judge Kathleen Delaney that she had been “imprisoned” mentally and physically since the attack.

The teacher’s mother said her daughter used to be a fun-loving and independent woman from a family of teachers who now could no longer teach and had difficulty leaving her home because of lasting physical and mental health complications.

At the sentencing, the teacher told the judge she remembers believing she was going to die.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department as well as the lawsuit, the teacher lost consciousness several times during the attack, which started with Martinez Garcia choking her with a “cord-like object.”

He had knocked on the teacher’s classroom door just before 1:25 p.m that day, so the teacher unlocked the door and let him in. He had asked if he could speak with her about missing assignments, the lawsuit said.

The attack also involved punching, kicking and her head being banged against the linoleum floor, as well as a metal filing bookshelf and a file cabinet being thrown on top of her.

When the teacher asked Martinez Garcia why he was assaulting her, he said that although he liked her and she was his favorite teacher, “a part of him also hated teachers, all teachers must die, and he needed to revenge on all teachers.” He also mentioned something about having multiple personalities, the lawsuit said.

Suit alleges CCSD failure to follow safety policies

The lawsuit also describes what it indicates were significant levels of violence in district schools and at Eldorado in the years leading up to the attack. It also outlined what it alleged was a complete failure on CCSD’s part to follow its own safety policies.

Examples of the violence at Eldorado included then-Principal David Wilson in 2018 describing fights and assaults on staff at the school and saying he needed more police officers on campus, the lawsuit said.

During her interview process with the district in 2020, the lawsuit alleges, the teacher was never told about any safety or security concerns at the school.

Also named in the lawsuit are Eldorado Principal Christina Brockett and former Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara.

In an email Thursday, the district’s media relations department said it does not comment on pending litigation.

The teacher’s attorneys were listed on the lawsuit as J. Randall Jones, Eric M. Pepperman, and Mona Kaveh, all of the Las Vegas firm Kemp Jones.

The monetary amount sought by the former teacher wasn’t clear, but the lawsuit said the plaintiff had been “damaged in an amount far in excess of” $15,000.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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