Jody Liss-Monteleone: Why 8-foot fence?

Fence under construction at the Valencia Valley Elementary School, Monday May 7, 2018. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

I am responding to the letter written by Max Morgan (May 22).

The shooting at Highland High School was committed by a former student who allegedly felt bullied. Because almost all school shootings are committed by students within the school, fences make little difference.

Many of us who opposed the fence felt that the School Board was not sincere. They never publicly explained why Valencia Valley warranted an 8-foot fence until the article in The Signal on May 8. Board member Philip Ellis Jr. said he was urged to build the 8-foot fence due to “loose dogs and a recent uptick in transients” and a “heroin-usage hotspot not too far from where the school is.” Urged by whom?

There are ten schools in the Newhall School District, and only three have an 8-foot fence. Meadows recently had a new fence built that is only six feet. Valencia Valley is in a very safe neighborhood, similar to Meadows, with protective neighbors who have used the school and attached park for over 30 years.

I don’t understand how two extra feet was needed to keep out alleged dogs, alleged transients, and alleged heroin-addicts, but I do understand that the additional two feet has financial repercussions. Schools are in desperate need for money and it seems that this could have been a place to save money. If the School Board was truly candid, they would probably admit that the fence is being put up to keep students in and not outsiders out.

Who is accountable regarding the expense of this fence? Three School Board members and the superintendent are leaving, leaving us with an 8-foot fence that will make the school look like a prison. Of course, that’s only on the paseo side. The front and side of the school are not being fenced.

Jody Liss-Monteleone

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