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LETTER: Safety is top need in school bond

Published on March 17, 2017 6:55PM

I write to urge you to support the current $104 million bond proposal to include replacement of Rocky Heights and Highland Hills Elementary Schools along with expanding Hermiston High School.

The existing schools pose a unique challenge. The design and layout of the buildings make it easy access for intruders and put our children in harm’s way. Each of the schools has at least 25 doors and give intruders access at multiple points, and unless there’s security at each door it makes it extremely difficult to monitor and extremely dangerous for our loved ones.

How do you keep track of visitors and/or intruders? While visitors are supposed to sign in at the office, how do you keep track of those that would go directly to one of the rooms? It’s next to impossible.

Our children, teachers, staff and administrators deserve to be in a safe learning environment. Endangering their lives because of lack of financial resources is not something that we should gamble on. The security issue should not be left unanswered because we don’t want to spend on the safety of our children. As a longtime community resident I am very concerned for the safety of our children.

To have new schools built where perhaps there can a place to be used for vetting all visitors before given access to proceed to enter the school would make it much safer for all students, faculty and approved visitors. While there are no absolutes or guarantees, we should try to ensure we have done all we can to significantly reduce risks.

Ultimately, the security issue exists because we haven’t prioritized the safety of our loved ones. Unfortunately, schools are often overwhelmed with conflicting priorities such as lack of funds to provide the right number of teachers needed or books or curriculum, etc. However, how do we put a price on our children’s lives?

Let’s not be reactive in fixing this problem, let’s be proactive! Let’s vote yes for the May 2017 School Bond. Vote yes for kids!

Eddie De La Cruz



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