Whistleblower says Nevada school district threatened to fire him if he told media about teacher recording special needs kids

News & Politics

A whistleblower went to the media about a teacher allegedly recording children despite school district officials threatening to fire him.

“I don’t care if they fire me,” said teacher Mark Wilson to KVVU-TV about the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I think I would put a vote to the community,” he explained, “would you rather have me teaching your kids or all the weirdos who go around lying to you that some creep tech at their school was recording their kids and then some creepy school district people say, ‘Hey let’s protect him?’ It’s more important for the public image of the school district. No. Sorry.”

Wilson said the district tried to cover up another teacher who was allegedly caught recording children the Gwendolyn Woolley Elementary School with a device concealed in a smoke detector.

KVVU said they spoke to another teacher who found the recording device in the classroom. She said she saw the device on the floor and believes that it had fallen from the ceiling.

“I looked at the device and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this looks like a recording device. What is this doing in here?’” said the teacher.

She said that soon afterward, 44-year-old teacher Haroon Zakai visited her and asked for the device. He allegedly struggled with her to try to get it back and scraped her arm.

“He got on his knees and he’s like, ‘Please don’t tell anybody. Don’t call the cops. This will ruin me,’” she said.

“He just wanted to record the kids to try to find words or phrases or certain sounds that can be picked up by AI that would indicate bullying so he can open his own business to create an anti-bullying device that he can sell so that parents are aware of what’s happening to their kids,” she added.

Wilson took a photo of the device and said that Zakai visited his classroom as well in order to try to explain his side of the story. Wilson said that district officials threatened to fire him for insubordination if he went to the media about the incident.

Later, a letter went out to parents from Principal Anna Cool-MacRae.

“The safety of our students is the number one priority at Woolley Elementary School. As always, we want to keep you informed of important matters happening within our school community,” she said in the letter.

“CCSD Police arrested the individual in connection with an investigation initiated on Wednesday,” she added. “The initial investigation indicates the matter only involved adults.”

Wilson is upset that the statement claimed the matter only involved adults when the device was inside a classroom with children with learning disabilities.

Zakai was put on paid leave, and officials said he would not be allowed on campus while the investigation continued. He had been employed with the district since Feb. 2022.

Here’s the video about the incident:

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