Leaders Need to Change School Culture

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Having read and heard more about this incident over the past year, I firmly believe had the Laguna Beach Police Department handled the situation internally without involving L.B.H.S., the LBUSD would be $150,000 richer and counting because the board refuses to take “No” for an answer – and we wouldn’t be hearing anything about a “hostile school environment”.

This unfortunate event escalated because no one thought it was a good idea to get all members involved in the same room to discuss what really happened and why.

As for the LBUSD, it is well past time to step out of the court room and back into the board room to focus on more pressing issues such as those outlined by Principal Sean Boulton of Newport Harbor High School in his heartfelt letter to parents following the suicide of a Corona del Mar student. While hiring social and emotional counselors is a start, being at the forefront of changing the unhealthy culture that has permeated our schools would leave a lasting legacy.


Mary Jo Winefordner, Laguna Beach


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  1. Absolutely! The academic standards which California schools are now implementing are unrealistic and have taken a heavy psychological toll on our kids. Read the new report which came out titled “How High The Bar” by the Horace Mann League. Parents and Teachers need to address the School Boards as well as the Board of Education for the state and ask Governor Brown to nix the standards. We need to adopt our own which address the developmental needs and abilities of our students. This set of standards should be written by experienced teachers. Start the conversation!


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