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Filipino teachers worried after student attacks Las Vegas teacher

Bev Llorente | TFC News Las Vegas

Posted at May 07 2022 11:14 AM

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The Las Vegas Clark County School District made headlines following the arrest of 16-year-old Jonathan Eluterio Martinez Garcia, a student of Eldorado High School.

Garcia has been accused of strangling and beating his own teacher several times and sexually assaulting her. Las Vegas Metro Police said he was discussing his grades with the teacher when he suddenly became violent, and began punching and strangling her until she lost consciousness.

Garcia is being processed as an adult on charges of attempted murder, sexual assault, battery with intent to commit sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery. He is being held on a $500,000 bail.

The incident is concerning for many Filipino teachers working in the Clark County School District.

"We just want to work. We just want to take care of the kids, to teach but then it happened to her so parang nakakasad at nakaka-worry as well because we don't know, it might happen to us as well," teacher Janille Mendoza pointed out.

Teacher Judith Tan meanwhile stressed the need for them to feel safe. "In my one year of stay here, so far sa school namin, wala pa namang ganun ka-intense na super napadelikado ng buhay. But then upon hearing the news about it, syempre parang we still want to feel secure somehow."

Several other incidents of students attacking teachers and staff in Clark County have been reported in April. Among these is a case of a 14-year-old who reportedly pulled a knife out of her backpack and threatened her teacher who was able to escape. Another incident involved a 15-year-old who allegedly became upset and threatened school staff with a pair of scissors. That student was eventually disarmed. Both girls were arrested and booked as juveniles.

The Clark County School District plans to increase safety measures.

"Our school gave an update on added safety measurements na gagawin po nila: adding monitors, school police officers sa campus po namin. For CCSD, they just gave us what to dial if ever there is a life threatening situation that could happen in our classroom," Mendoza said.

Recent concerns about violence in Clark County schools have also prompted the Clark County Education Association and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak to demand a safer environment for teachers and school employees.