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The State

Ramon Cortines, San Francisco superintendent of schools, said he would rather be jailed than to have fire regulations sidetrack his closed-door policy on troubled campuses. He said he was willing to have the city’s most crime-ridden schools systematically violate fire safety laws if that’s the only way to keep them secure. The schools chief, reacting to a highly critical report about fire safety, said he wanted fire officials to inspect each campus and decide which doors can remain chained in apparent violation of city and state law. “Some of those doors open right onto the streets,” Cortines said. “We want to keep out those people who want to prey on unprotected children.” District statistics show that the number of on-campus assaults committed by outsiders with or without weapons totaled 78 from January to June of this year. City Atty. Louise Renne will meet this week with Cortines, Fire Chief Fred Postel and representatives of the Police Department to find ways to secure the schools without compromising fire safety.


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