Many voters passed Measure Z because we thought the streets would be made safer around our schools. Most of us weren’t aware that the line in the measure “upgrade and improve physical education facilities” would be used to justify the construction of a $15 million dollar sports complex. I believed the line “Relocate or improve student drop-off areas for safety, including a separate area for buses.” meant the district would use the funds to improve the safety of the streets around our schools. It has been almost three years since the passage of the measure and nothing has been done to improve the streets.
It is interesting to learn the history of how our road situation around Beaumont High School, Mountain View Middle School, and Brookside Elementary has evolved to the point it has. Everyone seems to agree it is a problem that needs a solution. Regardless of how we got here, the city and school district are responsible for finding a solution. The district has the money for our solution they just need the guidance and leadership to follow through with their promise to the community to “Relocate or improve student drop-off areas for safety”.
It has been said that parents like me need “to continue to point out the problems and ask for solutions.” I have spent the last four years pointing out the problems to our school district and offering solutions. I’ve written our congressman Jerry Lewis. I’ve contacted the State Superintendent of Schools Tom Tolakson. I’ve filed a complaint with the district. There has been no effort by our school board to direct the administration to listen to parents on these important issues. The administration believes they are only required to provide training and classes to parents. They don’t need any more reminding from parents like me. They don’t want to hear from parents like me.
Parents need someone with some leverage to speak up for us and help the district do the right thing. The city council has the kind of leverage to get the attention of the school board. Recent comments posted on the Patch indicate to me that some of the council members agree that the roads around the schools need to be made safer.
I know one BUSD board member, Mrs. De Longchamp, made a campaign promise to work on the roads around the schools. Here is what she wrote on my blog, OurFocusOurKids.com.
"If need be, I'll delay the construction of the new district office and use those funds to fix the roads around our schools."
I believe it is in the best interest of our kids that we stop pointing fingers and arguing about how we got where we are and do something to fix the problems. Both Mrs. De Longchamp and Mr. Berg have indicated that safer roads around our schools should take priority over the $10 million Taj Mahal (district headquarters) the district has committed to build.
I believe Mr. Berg and Mrs. De Longchamp could work together and become advocates for our children. I would like to offer a solution. I invite Mr. Berg and Mrs. De Longchamp, as well as any other council member or school board member, to join me for a cup of coffee and work to do the right thing. This is something that could truly benefit our kids.