|CWC values coffee more than students?|
On the morning of Monday, January 27, 2014, minutes after having just met with the Stoner Principal and being assured once again the problem with the CWC gate had been solved, I walked around to the back side of the school and saw the Citizens of the World Charter (CWC) Mar Vista gate open, unlocked and unattended so that the Office Assistant could make a coffee run for office staff. It sounds almost crazy. If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it.
This isolated incident might not sound that bad, until you put it into context and see that CWC’s behavior has become increasingly reckless in regards to their entrance and safety on campus.
At the begining of the school year, when CWC began to use the entrance, they would keep the gate unlocked and/or opened. In the first few weeks of school, a specialneeds CWC student escaped from campus, and was found wandering the neighborhoodbabbling incoherently. Residents called the police and the child was picked and reunited with their family.
After that, CWC put a combination lock on the gate. Presumably, so that they would not have to leave the gate open like before, but would still have easy access. However, CWC decided that it was a good idea to give all their parents the combination to the lock. This meant that over 200 people had unfettered access to our students and campus. The CWC parents would take advantage of this privileged access and would be on campus evenings and weekends without any supervision from CWC Mar Vista school officials.
On November 5, 2013, at the Del Rey Residents Association meeting, I confronted CWC Principle Kerr and told her that giving all the CWC parents the combination to the entrance was a huge safety issue and needed to be stopped right way. Her response was that she had seen the Braddock gate open and unattended, as if pointing out a concern about Stoner absolved CWC’s pattern of continued reckless behavior.
Needless to say, nothing was done. On Friday afternoon, December 6, I notified LAUSD's Prop 39 department about the combination lock. The following Monday, the combination lock was removed.
However, that has not ended CWC’s reckless behavior. Stoner ES parents and local residents have reported seeing the gate left open and unlocked on many different days and at many different times since the combination lock has been removed.
On Friday, January 24, the Stoner Parents Academy (SPA) was having its weekly meeting. The issue of safety came up. A parent noticed people entering the CWC gate without anyone unlocking the chain. When the Stoner parents went to investigate, they found the gate locked in the open position. SPA was so concerned, they postponed their meeting to stand guard until the issue was resolved.
Once the meeting resumed, I volunteered to draft a letter to the Stoner principal regarding our concerns. I sent the email Monday morning, and met with the Stoner principal a few hours later.
This takes us back to the beginning of the story. So after all that, how does an open gate coffee run even make sense? What is CWC thinking?