LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two Las Vegas-area parents are suing the Clark County School District over an assignment they say their high school-aged daughter was required to read: an expletive-laced monologue later deemed too obscene to read publicly at a school board meeting, the lawsuit alleges.
Candra Evans and Terrell Evans filed the lawsuit against the district, Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, the teacher and others over allegations of “unlawful grooming and abuse of a minor” involving the “pornographic material.”
The 15 year-old Las Vegas Academy of the Arts student’s name is not included in the lawsuit. Candra, however, publicly identified herself as the mother of the student during a May school board meeting when she brought her concerns during public comment.
In March, the teacher assigned the 15-year-old’s class an assignment where each student would write a monologue and then perform another student’s writing, according to the lawsuit. The monologue assigned to the teenager contained “contained explicit, obscene and sexually violent material,” the lawsuit said.
“[The teacher] helped the other student edit their obscenely violent pornographic monologue knowing that it would then be provided to another student to read, memorize and perform in front of the class,” the lawsuit claims.
The final version of the monologue described a woman telling her ex-boyfriend that she was a lesbian, the lawsuit said. According to the suit, the monologue read as follows:
“I don’t love you. It’s not you, it’s just [looks down] your [expletive]. I don’t like your [expletive] or any [expletive], in that case. I cheated Joe. We were long distance and I’m in college and me and this girl, my roommate, started having some drinks and you know, I thought it was a one-time thing but then we started going out for coffee, and started sleeping in the same bed. I never thought it would get this far but God, it was like fireworks, and made me realize that with you it was always like a pencil sharpener that keeps getting jammed. I’ve tried to look at it from all different perspectives, but the truth is, I’m a [expletive] lesbian. I’ll never love you or any man, or any [expletive] [expletive]. I hope you find a nice straight girl because that’s not me, and I’m tired of pretending that it is.”
Candra became aware of the assignment in April 2022, the lawsuit said. She then went to the school and spoke with an administrator about her concerns. The administrator met with both Candra and Terrell about the assignment.
“[The administrator] empathized with them that he would be very upset if he found out that assignment had been given to his daughter,” the lawsuit said. “He told them that plaintiffs were handling the issue better than he would and that it would not be swept under the rug. He promised he would make sure that it never happened again. Further, he agreed that [the teacher] should have stopped [the teenager] as soon as she heard the first line of the monologue.”
The parents agreed to allow the administrator to speak to their daughter about the assignment only if a female administrator were present, the lawsuit said. The administrator, however, met with the student alone, the lawsuit claims.
After not hearing about what happened in the meeting between her daughter and the administrator, Candara requested another meeting with additional staff, including the school counselor, according to the lawsuit.
During the meeting, several staff “defended the obscene monologue and then blamed [the student] for reading it, stating that she could have said ‘no,’ but she didn’t,” the lawsuit said. Some staff then “backtracked and admitted that the assignment was not appropriate for the classroom,” the lawsuit said.
In May 2022, the parents contacted the regional superintendent about the assignment. A school associate later agreed to investigate it, the lawsuit said. Candra also asked that “no one at [the school] speak with [her daughter] about the matter unless she was present and [the school associate] said he would honor the request.”
A few days later, the parents inquired with someone at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. That person said a report would need to be filed with Clark County School District Police. The parents allege a report was taken, but later falsified, according to the lawsuit.
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Candra then spoke at the CCSD Board of Trustees meeting on May 12, 2022.
“I am going to read you an assignment given to my 15-year-old daughter at a local high school,” Candra said to the board. “This will be horrifying for me to read to you but that will give you perspective on how she must have felt when her teacher required her to memorize this and to act it out in front of her entire class.”
While reading the monologue, the microphone went silent, and she was asked to stop speaking.
“That you for your comment,” Trustee Evelyn Garcia Morales, who was leading the meeting, said. “Forgive me, we are not using profanity. This is a public meeting; I ask for decorum.”
“If you don’t want me to read it to you — what was it like for my 15-year-old daughter to have to memorize pornographic material?” Candra said.
Jara then interjected, saying his administration was already addressing the assignment. A video of the meeting bleeps out several words in Candra’s statement and blurs her mouth.
An unnamed CCSD trustee is alleged to have called the public comments a “publicity stunt,” claiming a parent group coached Candra through the public comment. Candra denies the claim in the lawsuit, documents said.
The next day, Candra learned her daughter had met alone with a school administrator about the assignment, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit claims the student “was falsely imprisoned because “she was not able to leave” the meeting.
The lawsuit, filed in state district court, alleges several violations, including of the student’s First Amendment rights, negligence and the infliction of emotional distress, the lawsuit claims. It asks for damages exceeding $50,000.
CCSD officials tweeted in May that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the class assignment. CCSD officials do not comment on ongoing litigation. Lawyers for the district have asked a judge to remove the lawyer from state court and move it to the federal docket.
“While we are not allowed to engage in back-and-forth dialogue, we would like to get your concerns addressed,” a board member said in the meeting.
News 2’s sister station, KLAS, asked the attorney for Candra and Terrell for comment.