Sunday, June 16

Tall Metal Fences Cause Controversy in San Diego School District

When the residents of San Diego take their children to school in the morning, some feel as though they are driving up to a prison.

According to U-T San Diego, the San Diego Unified School District has been constructing chain-linked and metal fences around its schools and facilities for months. The impetus behind the construction occurred nearly two years ago immediately following the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff members were killed. Concerned parents, staff members, and school board lobbied the school district to implement stronger security measures to prevent something like that happening in San Diego.

Still, the new security measures are not without its detractors. “I hate the way it looks, like a cage or something,” said Gabby Sanchez-Washington, a local resident with a nephew who attends middle school. “When I was a kid, schools were welcoming places that you didn’t lock people out of. But again, those were different times.”

Security fences in themselves are not simple to build. They are rather complicated and can serve many different purposes.

“There is a wide selection of quality fence materials available for commercial security fencing, chain link, steel aluminum and ornamental,” says Liz East of Beitzell Fence. “This provides great versatility in style and function. Security Fence enhance, secure and add increased value to any property.”

The fences weren’t the only new security measures implemented. The district wants every school to direct visitors to one entrance after classes begin. Most of the schools require visitors to check-in and show ID before entering a classroom. At least one school requires visitors to buzz-in at the front door and request entrance through a speaker.

However, these security measures aren’t enough for some. New proposals are being considered, such as installing state-of-the-art lock systems in classrooms, building barriers, and installing cameras. The San Diego police department has assisted the school district with recommendations and providing information about the latest in security technology. Since 2012, the district has spent millions of dollars on these security measures for its nearly 200 schools across the city.

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