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LETTER: Clark County students don’t show up for class

I was blown away by your Saturday article, “Empty seats in CCSD’s classrooms.” It really opened my eyes. I realize the Clark County School District is the bottom of the barrel, but I didn’t realize how bad it is. Forty percent of district students don’t bother to show up for at least 10 percent of the school year. That’s twice the rate of Los Angeles County public schools.

Kamilah Bywaters, president of the Las Vegas Alliance of Black School Educators, says in the article that black students don’t show up because they don’t want to be taught by white teachers. They can’t relate to them and feel alienated.

Let’s get to what the district students themselves say. Jacob Drum, a student at Green Valley High School, is quoted as saying he needs more incentives to come to class. He said that if he goes to school and is a couple minutes late, why would he even go to that first class? He’ll be marked late anyway, so he just sits in his car and starts the day with his second-period class. Wow. Can’t argue with that logic.

The story notes that district officials began holding focus groups with students last month asking them how they could improve attendance numbers. Students have asked for more positive reinforcement during the school day, and they would like someone to welcome them and greet them when they come onto campus. How about they get up, come to school and say good morning to those who are there to educate them?

How about the parents? Well, Brenda Zamora said that students should not be given awards for perfect attendance. “I don’t like this idea of you get a certificate for being perfect,” she said in the story. “That’s not what reality is,” and it will make other students feel bad. Ms. Zamora is running for the Clark County School Board. Unbelievable.

Here’s an idea: Get up and go to school. Why are we even entertaining these people’s opinions? With all the excuse-making, the school district is destined to stay at the bottom of the barrel.

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