The Laguna Beach Unified School District has closed the high school track and field to the public during school hours. If you are angry or upset about this decision, please do two things:
1. Show up at 6:15 p.m. sharp for the March 8 school board meeting to register your opposition to the new school policy;
2. Send an email to [email protected] to join a group of grassroots activists on this important issue.
Here’s the background on the school board’s decision. Five years ago, Don Austin came in as the new high school principal and immediately began a crusade to shut down the track, despite a decades-long history of harmony between the school and the community.
Since that time, Austin has lobbied hard for the closure and with the appointment of a new superintendent in July – also unfamiliar with the ways of Laguna – Austin convinced her (Sherine Smith) and the board to shut the community out.
What’s shameless is the scare tactics being employed. Citing some dark, nebulous safety threat – again, despite no major issues in decades of use, the board has bought into this Draconian lockout.
If Austin’s bogeymen were real, of course, the board would have closed the track and field entirely, even during after school hours when there are a lot more students using the facility.
All the complaints raised by Austin can be handled through alternative means other than a lockout. (Ironically, many high school students are also upset at the Austin lockdown.)
Peter Navarro, Laguna Beach