The green metal fence surrounding El Roble Elementary School
will remain locked for the majority of the week to keep children
safe inside and vandals and litterbugs out.
The green metal fence surrounding El Roble Elementary School will remain locked for the majority of the week to keep children safe inside and vandals and litterbugs out.
After finding condoms, knives and drugs littering the campus – and teens drunk on the school’s roof – parents and school custodians raised their collective voice: “Lock the gates.”
“Why have a fence up if we’re not going to use it as a fence?” El Roble parent Charleen Lucio said at a Gilroy Unified School District board meeting Thursday night.
Trustees listened to several of these parents, and one lone community member who urged them to keep the gates open during the day. Trustees then voted unanimously to lock the gates during the school day, at dusk every night and over the weekends. The gates will be open only after school on weekdays until dark.
“I didn’t know I lived in such a terrible neighborhood,” said Connie Rogers, a 38-year resident of Santa Theresa Drive, which borders the school.
Publicly funded facilities should be open to the public, Rogers said. Community members who helped pay for the facilities should be able to use the playground and basketball courts, she said.
But several parents and trustees disagreed.
“This to me is just the definition of a no-brainer,” trustee Denise Apuzzo said. “Our duty is to the students of the Gilroy Unified School District first and foremost. If even one child goes in on Monday and strikes themselves with a syringe, was that worth it? Was that worth it for the one person that wanted to play basketball? No, it’s not.”