Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Safety & Security: Aren't we inviting trouble?

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, Unintended consequences

STRANGER DANGER, we have all heard the phrase. We've taught it to our preschoolers; they teach it in our schools from kindergarten on up. We all want to protect our children from predators and those who would cause harm.

How do you keep your kids safe while they are at school? It is difficult.

Schools these days have enough trouble screening the people who belong in the schools like: Teachers, Coaches, Administrators, Custodians, and Support Staff.

Now it seems we are about to embark on an expanded plan to invite strangers into our schools? 

That HSST member justified building this referendum's huge gyms (they total over 2 acres in size) by encouraging community use stating, "Further the gym space will be used by our entire community (Park and Rec -- seniors will have a walking track instead of the mall which have kicked them out -- and we will be able to gain revenue by renting out the space)."

There was a line in the Vote Yes ad too, "Increased gym space to accommodate modern day demands including girls athletics and community usage."  

Contrast that HSST member's and Vote Yes group's desire to open our schools up to the community with the alarm sounded in Safe & Secure?, the article on Elmbrook's lack of security measures in the high schools.

That article opened with "An 8-by-11 piece of paper is Brookfield East's front line of defense. ' Visitors must register in the front office,'  as an attempt to control building guests." It also brought up the what ifs of school shootings.

Other school districts have opened their facilities to the community.

This is Shorewood's Community Fitness Center. It shares the building with the Industrial Arts Dept. I wonder if they opened the Fitness Center to the public in order to make it an easier sell to the community? (The Fitness Center took over the vacated space from the drafting/mechanical drawing department.)

But whatever the reason for including the public, I visited this building with a few Shorewood friends last fall. We walked right in during school time. There was a mix of adults and students in there.

Do you like that idea? 

Shorewood High School had no security that we could see. We toured all 5 buildings during school time. I don't even think there was a 8x11 sheet of paper on the doors directing us to the Administration building!

Now one little known fact from last year was that security measures would be implemented at Elmbrook high schools regardless of the 2007 referendum's passage. The article affirmed this,  "As a result of the principals' pleading, each school also was outfitted with about 25 security cameras this school year." (More about this in the next posting: Safety & Security: Threat from within or without?) 

So with all these security concerns, does it make sense to invite the public into the schools before, during, and after school?  Do you want your daughter at PomPoms or Cheer leading practice at night with non-school related adults hanging around? Even if they sign in, will there be anyone to do a Watchdog search?

Should we be inviting every Peeping Tom, Dick and Harry (or Harriet) to come use our gyms or tracks?

One reader already answered that question,  

This proposal for renting out the gym space had me confused as well.  One of the major referendum drivers (used to threaten people into lending support) is that our schools aren't "safe" enough?  Well then why would we want to invite non-students in during the day?  Are they really naive enough to assume that possessing an AARP card immediately absolves someone from potentially harming a child? 
While the voters will decide on Tuesday if the gyms will be built or not, parents of Elmbrook students may want to weigh in on this issue regardless of referendum passage. 


C G SCHMIDT Cost summary of Referendum


Elmbrook School District Referendum Links:

HSST Meeting Minutes 

Cost Breakdowns of Type of Work (cost per square footage)

Architect's Conceptual High School Floorplans--East and Central

Facility "Needs" comparison of failed 2007 and present 2008 referendums

Key Academic Benefits: click on that subject heading.

Tour Schedule  

Tax Calculator  

Frequently Asked Questions

Elmbrook asks for smaller expansion--JSOnline (Also includes links to past articles)

Still no link to the 2008 Election Edition of the Link. Hope you got your copy.
counter hit xanga

Former 2007 Referendum Facilities Facts Sheets (Still a good read)


The countdown continues: Just 6 days until MILLIONS OF DOLLARS Tuesday!

Email me your thoughts on the $62.2 million dollar referendum.

Links: Brookfield7, Betterbrookfield Vicki Mckenna 





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