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Teacher attacked at Las Vegas high school by student files lawsuit

The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury, $60K in damages plus attorney fees for a 2022 attack by a student who pleaded guilty to three felonies.
Rocio Hernandez
Rocio Hernandez
EducationK-12 Education

A former teacher who suffered life-threatening injuries after she was attacked by a student at Eldorado High School in Las Vegas has filed a lawsuit nearly two years later. 

The lawsuit filed Wednesday with the Clark County District Court by the teacher, who is identified as Sade Doe, demands a trial by jury and is and seeking damages totaling $60,000 for disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of opportunities, loss of income, emotional distress and loss of quality of life as well as compensation for attorney’s fees and costs. 

The Clark County School District (CCSD), former Superintendent Jesus Jara and Eldorado Principal Christina Brockett are named as defendants in the complaint. The lawsuit claims the defendants failed to comply with CCSD’s policies and regulations on safety, which led to the brutal attack upon the plaintiff. 

In an emailed statement Thursday, the district said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. 

The lawsuit details the April 7, 2022, attack against the teacher by Jonathan Eluterio Martinez Garcia, who was a student at Eldorado High School and had pleaded guilty to three felonies related to the assault. He was 16 at the time of the attack. 

According to the lawsuit, the attack took place after school during the teacher’s mandatory office hours when Martinez Garcia came to meet with the teacher to speak with her about missing assignments. 

As the teacher was pulling up the student’s information on her computer, he started strangling her from behind with a cordlike object. He also punched and kicked the teacher, banged her head against the linoleum floor, threw a metal bookshelf and file cabinet on top of her and partially undressed her. Martinez Garcia told police he had masturbated and ejaculated on her. The teacher was in and out of consciousness throughout the attack. According to the lawsuit, she was found by a custodian more than an hour and a half after the attack began. 

“No one heard plaintiff’s screams and cries for help during the attack, and no one was monitoring surveillance cameras to protect plaintiff from harm,” the lawsuit states. 

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

Because of the severity of the charges, Martinez Garcia was automatically charged as an adult. The teacher’s family said since the attack, the woman, who is in her 20s, suffers from chronic physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, the Las Vegas Sun reported. She uses a walker and has sensitivity to light and sound.

The teacher began working in the district in 2020. It was her first teaching job after graduating from college. During the 2021-22 school year, she taught English to sophomores and juniors. 

According to the lawsuit, the district never notified the teacher of any safety or security concerns at her school, and she never received any formal training relating to teacher safety against violent acts by students. 

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that two weeks before the incident, the school’s counselor scheduled a meeting with Martinez Garcia’s family to discuss concerns related to his behavior and academics but the family didn’t attend the meeting. The lawsuit claims the district failed to warn the teacher about Martinez Garcia’s “behavioral issues and dangerous and/or violent tendencies.”

After the incident, the district implemented $26 million in security upgrades at Eldorado including new panic buttons, upgraded and increased number of surveillance cameras, a secure controlled single-point entry system at the front of the school, and site fencing to secure access at remaining entrances. The district spent another $13.3 million for security upgrades at 11 other high schools including Desert Pines and Foothill. 
In a press conference days after the attack, Jara announced the district would be rolling out a panic buttonlike feature to the microphone device that teachers were already using in their classrooms so students can hear them better during class.


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