Why the school district spent an estimated $20,000 on the fence has never been made clear to parents and residents, said former Mt. Washington Elementary PTA board member Roberta Tinajero-Frankel. Tinajero notes that there is already chain link fence surrounding the rest of the campus. Vandals still managed to break into a school building over the winter break, but this new fence would not have prevented that, said Tinajero. The principal told Tinajero in May that the fence would probably not be installed because of budget cuts. But apparently the district found the funds.
"This is a school that does not have a functioning photo copier," said Tinajero. "This what our very limited resources are being spent on? It's the wrong message at the wrong time."
The school is closed for the summer break, and principal Kralian could not be reached for comment.
Tinajero is no longer involved with the PTA since her son will be attending a charter school this fall. But she walks past the school nearly every day and the new fence serves as a reminder of the long way the school district has to go to keep parents and residents in the loop.
"I feel like the elementary school is one of the top schools in the district - it's the pride of the community," said Tinajero, a longtime Mt. Washington resident. "We should have been able to work collaboratively on this decision."
Top photo by Roberta Tinajero-Frankel; bottom images from Mt. Washington Elementary website