We were astounded to read in your South Bay Section of the Los Angeles Times (May 9) that the Palos Verdes Peninsula school board members feel that Margate area residents are "causing irreparable damage" to the Palos Verdes District's children and educational programs"--by requesting that Margate be kept open.
It is the Peninsula school board that is doing irreparable damage to the the children's education by closing Margate, a much newer, more modern school, and keeping Malaga Cove, an old, inferior physical facility open instead!
Jack Bagdasar, a former Palos Verdes School District educational administrator, was the only board member who voted to keep Margate open. With his background of many years of service as a teacher, principal and administrator, he knew that Margate was by far the superior physical facility for students.
With the closing of Margate will come increased traffic hazards involving safety of children. Hundreds of students will be trying to walk or bike along narrow, winding Palos Verdes Drive West on their way to Malaga Cove and back home. Others from the Point Vicente area will be trying to walk home on Hawthorne Boulevard (scene of many critical and fatal traffic accidents) from Ridgecrest Intermediate.
We firmly believe that the state Department of Education should become involved in the dispute at this point. An impartial analysis of the two schools' physical plants should be made.
The Michael Brandman Associates environmental impact report will be a useless document since its authors will feel a biased commitment to the board, which authorized the expenditure.
Will the Palos Verdes school board be big enough to admit that a mistake might have been made? The welfare of future generations of children is at stake.
VIRGINIA and HARRY SCHMEICHEL
Palos Verdes Estates