June 28, 2014
The school board recently made one of those unpopular but necessary decisions of the post-Isla Vista, post-Sandy Hook, post-Fort Hood, post-Aurora, post-Virginia Tech, post-Littleton, post-etc. world.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustees voted to fence in the playground, field, front and sides of Adams Elementary School to provide pupils a modicum of protection.
Though divided, the board made the right decision by agreeing to extend the originally proposed fence boundaries to include a grassy play area just beyond the blacktop. The superintendent deserves credit for pledging that the school field, which the neighborhood uses as a de facto park, will remain open and accessible to the public after hours and on weekends.
Some residents wanted to leave the green space unfenced and open at all times, but we believe that children at play should remain as protected as possible. We live in a society where easy access to firearms and a reluctance to treat the mentally ill has forced communities nationwide to scramble for chain-link (Read: Band-Aid) solutions like this.
Some Costa Mesans opposed to the change voiced valid concerns before the school board, and we don't really think they're wrong in their desire to access the field, but the secure world they pine for, the one where you could freely walk your dog on the school's grass while children are in class, is gone. We just can't live that way any longer, even if we all wish we could.