What’s the Buzz About the Fences?

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With the Morro Bay High School  2022-2023 school year in full swing, administration has implemented new rules in regards to fencing and security on campus. These rules prohibit individuals from leaving/entering campus once school starts, besides during lunch, and prohibit those parking in the first lot from accessing their cars at any point in the day apart from lunch. “It’s the goal of every school in the district” states MBHS principal, Scott Schalde.  “It’s a district wide decision based on the safety at our school, it helps manage who can come onto and leave our campus.” Superintendent of San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Dr. Eric Prater, states, “Fencing is part of the Physical Environment Pillar which stresses the importance of creating a clear barrier between school property and the pedestrian community.” Dr. Prater went on to clarify that the fences were established as a result of many decisions that have occurred over the years, all decisions to enhance the safety and security of campus’ in the district. “Our district is taking serious steps to ensure our schools are safe places for all students, staff, and visiting members of our community.”

For many students, these new established rules have brought on frustration and annoyance. “I feel it’s unnecessary, it’s inefficient, and it’s problematic.” states Stella Mahan, an MBHS senior. Junior Colton Franklin agrees, adding, “The fencing has made me feel childish, the message this year has been to ‘raise the bar’ and to act mature, yet restricting us from accessing our cars feels as if we have no power, and they don’t trust us.” Colton also expresses, “Especially with the lack of lockers and lots of stuff to bring to class, it’s really been enraging.”  

Since many students of Morro Bay High School actively park on campus, the majority being juniors and seniors, a great deal of the frustration has stemmed from the upperclassmen. However, underclassmen have also expressed their concerns. Sophomore Cole Blanchard remarks that the faculty has failed to open the fences on multiple occasions. “It’s just annoying, since my brother who’s a senior drives us it’s made me late to work, why would they put fences that they can’t even remember to open.” Cole also explains that the fences have not been opened in a timely manner on multiple occasions, occurring both during lunch and after school. Freshman Haley Hart also expresses her irritation, “I need to be places after school, when they forget to open the gates it is unacceptable, I need to be at sports practices off campus or go straight home, and I can’t do that on time if the fences are closed.” Senior Stella Mahan even explains, “ One time I had the gate deliberately shut on my face by the assistant principal when he could have easily let me through, the bell hadn’t even rang yet, so not only was I late to 5th period, I also had to park in the opposite lot which is across campus from my class.” 

Although the students have expressed a general distaste and anger toward the fencing, Principal Scott Schalde says that he feels that the students have been overall very understanding toward these changes. “When I talk to students about why we are trying to prevent people from walking on campus, they are like ‘okay I get it, but I really don’t like it.” Mr. Schalde expresses that he understands the frustration from the students, and he encourages the student body’s voice to be heard. 

Although the new established rules of fencing on our campus have brought on negative feelings for many students, these rules as far as we know are here to stay. If any other updates or decisions on fencing occur, stay tuned to the Spyglass for additional information. 

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