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July 29, 2014

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In wake of student’s suicide, School District forms anti-bullying task force

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Steve Marcus

Pat Skorkowsky, Clark County School District superintendent, attends an editorial board meeting at the Las Vegas Sun Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014.

Clark County Schools Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky announced today he has created an internal task force to study ways the School District can better combat student bullying.

The task force will review district policies and state laws regarding bullying, and recommend policy and legislative changes, Skorkowsky said. The task force will be headed by retired associate superintendent Billie Rayford, and is expected to present its recommendations to the School Board in May.

The announcement comes as the School District faces growing criticism for its handling of the suicide death of Hailee Joy Lamberth, a seventh-grade honor roll student at Thurman White Middle School in Henderson.

The 13-year-old girl died on Dec. 12, leaving a farewell note describing how she was bullied by another student at school, according to her father, Jason Lamberth.

Less than a month prior to her death, an anonymous bullying report about Hailee was submitted to the White Middle School staff, Lamberth said. Although the bully’s parents were notified, Lamberth said he was kept out of the loop -- a violation of state law.

Since Hailee’s death, Lamberth said he has tried to meet with Skorkowsky to discuss how Hailee’s death could be been prevented, but so far, he has not been successful. Two months after Hailee’s death on Dec. 12, four district officials were supposed to meet with Lamberth, but only two showed up, he said.

At School Board meetings this month, Lamberth pleaded with School Board members to act. He told board members he believes Hailee was “bullied to death” and questioned why he was not notified that his daughter was being bullied at school.

“She has the face of an angel,” Lamberth said Thursday, holding up Hailee’s picture as he addressed the School Board. “Unfortunately, she is an angel now.”

Skorkowsky said Thursday he plans to meet with Lamberth later this month to discuss ideas for new anti-bullying legislation and policies. The task force also will consider Lamberth’s ideas, Skorkowsky said.

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