Letter: City, School District’s Safety Actions Optimal

0
406
Share this:

Optimal doesn’t mean perfect, but best possible under existing circumstances. We applaud City Hall for taking the lead and School District for joining informed, decisive action to address suboptimal safety conditions at El Morro School.

All our schools deserve the same or equivalent city and school district services. That includes emergency communications, fire prevention, medical care and community policing. El Morro parents were right to demand a school site as safe as possible, not isolation on an unincorporated county-owned island of elevated risk.

Instead of hand-wringing or hiring more consultants, our Police Chief secured agreement by OC Sheriff that LBPD will be a front line first responder at El Morro School. The City Manager is giving closure of glaring gaps in emergency call response priority.

For now, the city and school district will share cost for rapid deployment of a second LBPD officer to augment community policing for LBUSD. The new School Resource Officer (SRO) will be based at El Morro but on call district wide like the SRO now based at LBHS.

Since 2004, we have been advocating a comprehensive safety audit and risk management paradigm. Relying instead on off-shelf generic models, our school district borrowed the SRO program developed for larger districts.

Since that’s the program LBUSD adopted, El Morro parents were justified seeking extension of the SRO model to El Morro. At least unless and until LBUSD and/or City Hall can offer equivalent or superior safety measures for all our schools.

I commend parent spokeswoman Amber Offield and SRO supporters for open dialogue with those not sure about community policing on campus. In addition to tertiary measures, sustainable permanent safety strategies may include annexation and incorporation of the El Morro school site.

Real community harmony on these issues happens when many diverse voices are blended. Very different from imposed “unity” demanding we speak with “one voice” as a politically contrived test of “loyalty.”

Instead of more bickering, go to City Hall website, see neighbors and City Hall working together at our Oct. 29 council meeting (www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/citygov/cityclerk/mam.htm), starting at 1:33:32 (my own remarks are at 2:18:28 – 2:22:25).

A century ago our community decided to educate its children locally. In some senses, El Morro was allowed to remain an out of town schoolhouse for too long. Whatever its future may be must be intentional, not accidental any longer.

 

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

Share this:
Firebrand Media LLC wants comments that advance the discussion, and we need your help to accomplish this mission. Debate and disagreement are welcomed on our platforms but do it with respect. We won't censor comments we disagree with. Viewpoints from across the political spectrum are welcome here. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, our community is not obliged to host all comments shared on its website or social media pages, including:
  • Hate speech that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic slurs, or calls for violence against a particular type of person.
  • Obscenity and excessive cursing.
  • Libelous language, whether or not the writer knows what they're saying is false.
We require users to provide their true full name, including first and last names, as a condition for comments. We reserve the right to change this policy based on future developments.

Scroll down to comment on this post.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here