Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/19/17

Depriving a School Board of Ignorance

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
(# of views)   No comments
Author 503224
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

"At the Los Angeles Unified School District, our goals are...5. School safety"

- LAUSD

Given the vastness of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) bureaucracy, there is no guarantee that the members of the School Board knew that Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) had been cited for making unauthorized modifications to their District owned campus that threatened student and staff safety. Therefore, I used my three minutes of public comment at the LAUSD November 14, meeting to make the board members aware of this situation:


(Image by YouTube, Channel: Carl Petersen)   Details   DMCA
As I understand the rules set by the previous iteration of this Board, parents at charter schools are supposed to be notified when a Notice of Violation is issued to a school. Earlier this year a Notice of Violation was issued to Granada Hills Charter High School, but as a parent, it was never sent to me. I only found it through doing an unrelated Public Records Act request through the school. Instead, it was buried within an electronic newsletter with a link to the letter that I am passing out.

What that letter did not state was that this was a Notice of Violation which included the warning that there was "a risk to the health and safety of your students, staff, and other individuals." Nor did it say that the school was accused of violating the law by "failing to obtain necessary review and approval of the plans for the identified alterations from the Division of State Architect (DSA)."

It also stated: "immediately stop all use of the facilities identified in Exhibit A...for the health and safety of students staff and other individuals". Included on that list was a "Lunch Shelter Area that is structurally unstable. It is an immediate safety hazard and must be fenced off until removed or constructed to the District's standards and applicable laws." It further warned that the "Lunch Shelter Area that is structurally unstable" and is in danger of a "partial [or] total collapse.

According to a source within the District, "everything that was red-tagged is still red-tagged and will remain off-limits until the plans are approved by the District, then go through DSA, and the work gets done, inspected, and accepted." However, during a recent visit to the school for a choir concert for my daughter, the lunch area that appears to be the one referenced by the notice was not fenced off and was being used. The last page of the packet has pictures of that area and it is clearly still in use.

The school did remove some sheet metal that they had added to the roof of the structure which was causing extra weight. However, the notice had stated that "the existing beams are sagging and deformed due to the extra load. This area should not be used by students and barricaded immediately until safety measures are completed." It also said that "the columns are no longer plumb, and the whole structure appears to be shifting."

This is clearly a danger. The District informed the school that no one should be using that area. Yet, it appears to be still in use. I'd like to know who is protecting the students?

You should also note that Granada is a conversion charter. That is District property. If something happens after this notice, it is the District who is on the hook. You are going to be responsible not only monetarily but morally for what happens to those children.

You need to look into this.


(Image by Carl J Petersen)   Details   DMCA
As of Friday, the Lunch Shelter was still being used by the students of GHCHS. This seems to provide further proof that the Board is less interested in putting "Kids First" than it is in serving its benefactors at the California Charter School Association.

____________________________________________

Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention

Finding Hope in Florida

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: