A big blue barrier comes between a Mt. Washington parent and her neighborhood school

It was not uncommon on school days for the front doors of Mt. Washington Elementary to be swung wide open, a welcoming symbol for kids as well as neighbors of this hillside neighborhood. But when the school reopens after the summer break, students won’t be greeted by those open doors. Instead, they will encounter a big wrought iron gate that was installed a few weeks ago for reasons that have mystified and angered some residents and neighbors.

Why the school district spent an estimated $20,000 on the fence has never been made clear to parents and residents, said former Mt. Washington Elementary PTA board member Roberta Tinajero-Frankel. Tinajero notes that there is already chain link fence surrounding the rest of the campus. Vandals still managed to break into a school building over the winter break, but this new fence would not have prevented that, said Tinajero. The principal told Tinajero in May that the fence would probably not be installed because of budget cuts. But apparently the district found the funds.

“This is a school that does not have a functioning photo copier,” said Tinajero. “This what our very limited resources are being spent on? It’s the wrong message at the wrong time.” Read more in School Yard.

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