In early May, television station KVBC and one of its reporters filed suit in state district court in Las Vegas against the Clark County School District and three school police officers, alleging that reporter Brenda Stanton was unlawfully detained and handcuffed while interviewing students on the sidewalk outside a high school.
The station seeks a declaration that the practices of the school police violated the station’s First Amendment right to engage in newsgathering, and an injunction prohibiting similar actions in the future.
The lawsuit alleges that the school police “unlawfully obstructed Stanton’s right as a duly authorized member of the institutional press to engage in freedom of the press.”
The school district has not properly supervised or trained its police officers regarding constitutional limits on their authority, the station asserted.
In mid-February, Stanton was interviewing Valley High School students about teen pregnancy when a school police officer approached her and ordered her off the sidewalk. She stepped into the street, but when she returned to the sidewalk to avoid being struck by traffic, she was arrested and handcuffed. No charges were filed against Stanton, who was later released. (Valley Broadcasting Co. v. Clark County School District, Media Counsel: Dominic Gentile, Las Vegas)