Board gives public extra hour on track

During Tuesday's school board meeting, members of the public again brought up restrictions regarding the Laguna Beach High School track.

The board made a motion to reconsider the limitations by adding an additional hour of use after residents Ceil Sharman and Peter Navarro asked for a compromise.

Board member Jan Vickers sympathized with public concern and asked the board to consider a compromise.

She believes the track signage is ambiguous about the times it is in use outside of instructional time, such as for co-curricular activities.

She said she wanted to move past the "them/us situation" occurring in the meetings. She also wants a more progressive move to support wellness in the community.

She brought up that the bond measure that helped create the track was approved with the notion that it was a community facility.

Clerk Betsey Jenkins suggested removing the 30-minute restriction before and after instruction, giving the public an extra hour a day. All five board members approved the motion.

She also posed the idea of a publically accessible calendar with daily events. She said because school is in session 181 days, the public has the rest of the calendar year to use it, which is fair.

Vickers pointed out that the other 184 days aren't completely open if summer school is taken into account.

Board President Theresa O'Hare was firm in her beliefs to keep safety the No. 1 priority.

In response to an earlier comment by Navarro, who noted that the school hadn't experienced a safety breach in 60 years, she said: "I know there have been no incidents in 60 years, but it only takes one."

O'Hare went on to mention the school's preventative measures, such as H1N1 vaccines.

"It is a school first. I know that's hard to understand," she said. "We have to have a safe campus. It only takes one person to ruin it."

Vickers pointed out that if each person entering campus is a threat, then the school would have to screen everyone who attends athletic events or school plays.

Supt. Sherine Smith thanked the board for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity.

The Board Policy Subcommittee will most likely address the issue at their next meeting, which is to be announced.

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