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LAGUNA BEACH : High School May Be Closed at Lunchtime

Over the objections of most Laguna Beach High School students, the district is leaning toward a plan to close the campus during lunchtime, the superintendent said Thursday.

The subject was discussed at the Laguna Beach Unified School District meeting Tuesday night and should be back to the board for a decision on Aug. 23, Supt. Paul M. Possemato said.

“The discussion was rather lively, I’ll say that,” he said. “There seems to be a general point of view that there needs to be a closed campus. I think how to do it seems to the difficult issue for some board members.”

The district is considering the option, Possemato said, out of concern for students’ safety and in hopes of building student morale by encouraging more teens to attend lunchtime events on campus.

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Possibilities discussed so far include closing the campus for all youth, corralling only ninth- and 10th-grade students, closing the campus at the start of the school year and waiting until more noontime activities can be created to involve teens, he said.

Possemato said parents received a questionnaire on the subject in June and fewer than 20% responded. Of the respondents, 60% favored the closed campus.

In contrast, when high school and incoming students were polled, between 80% and 90% responded and “a good 80%" rejected the idea, Possemato said.

“Overwhelmingly, the students are not supportive,” he said.

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Of Laguna Beach High School’s 730 students, from 500 to 600 are likely to leave campus for lunch on any given day, Possemato said.


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