Letter: Civic Integrity Empowers United Community Action

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Facing emergency conditions together should bring out the best in all of us.

 All of us in the Laguna Beach public school community are united in resolve to protect the health of our students and all those present in their lives. As a school board member, elected to represent the community in governance of the wonderful school district our community has built during the last century, I have no higher priority than the health and well-being of every student.

Inherently, that also makes the health and well-being of every person present in the lives of each student a priority as well. That includes family, teachers, friends, neighbors employers… at which point we realize the entire community is woven together in a tapestry of life in which the youth of our township is enfolded.

It’s my hope reporting my own views about LBUSD emergency operations will encourage a high standard for emergency management going forward.

I’ve made it clear that strategic decisions about school closing and safe re-opening, alternative learning programs and other critical questions should be determined by elected school board members, not delegated to appointed staff.

It is, then, regretted but necessary to correct a misleading emergency related LBUSD press release. The public and media were misinformed that the board took one vote at its March 13 emergency meeting, and that I voted against emergency measures to keep students safe.  The truth is there were three votes:

·      I voted to approve the emergency declaration.

·      I voted to give the Superintendent emergency budget and contracting authority.

·      I voted against over-delegation of decisions the board should make on closing/opening schools, as well as alternative instructional services.

We must find common ground and again stand together as a community. As always Laguna Beach student’s welfare is of the upmost priority for me and I’m hopeful that LBUSD school’s will reopen soon and the health concerns over coronavirus will soon be over.

Dee Perry, Laguna Beach Unified School Board Member

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