Should School Sites Be Open for Non-permitted Activities After Hours?

April 10, 2024 Update: The SJUSD School Board heard from parents, athletic directors and taxpayers resulting in a 6-1 vote not to move forward with the proposal to open school campuses for non-permitted activities. Until we elect leaders who will address homelessness and crime in our neighborhoods, this will be necessary to ensure campuses are safe when school opens each morning.

Most school districts around our County are aware that they must keep their campuses closed when not in use for school purposes. This is unfortunate, but has become necessary as homeless camps have spread to neighborhoods, and crime, such as drug sales and usage, has increased.

We all remember when the local school site was used by the surrounding community for weekend recreation. Families could come to play basketball, kids could ride their bikes on the pavement, and sports fields provided access to open space where kids could run and play. With the current political environment that has taken away consequences for crime and increased the homeless population, school districts must consider student and staff safety before they allow school sites to be open without supervision.

The San Juan Unified School Board will consider a proposal to allow for non-permitted, unsupervised use of school facilities in Agenda Item I(5). If this proposal is of concern to you, as a parent, community member, and taxpayer, you should attend this meeting or contact Board Members directly. 

Meeting Details: Agenda | Board Packet

Tuesday, April 9th – Public Meeting Opens at 6:30PM
In Person: 3738 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael
Live Stream:
Email Board Members
Agenda Item I(5) expected to come up around 7:55pm

  • In Person Public Comment. Visitor comments limited to two minutes per speaker, with no more than 30 minutes per single topic. Time will be extended for any speaker who uses an interpreter. Please be aware that public comments, including your name, become part of the public record.
  • Online Submission of Public Comment. Members of the public may submit written comments by using the comment form located on the district website.  If you wish to submit a written comment on more than one agenda item, please submit a separate form for each item and limit comments to 1,500 characters. Comments will be provided to the members of the board.

Suggested Talking Points:

  • School sites must not become an attraction for criminal activity that currently exists in the surrounding communities.
  • If a school campus remains open in the evening or on weekends, then the entire campus must be examined, cleaned, and made safe before school can open the next day.
  • Who will be responsible for making sure no one is hiding in a building, or has set up camp in the playing fields? Janitors and teachers are not trained to handle encounters with people who may not want to leave.
  • School budgets are already strained with state mandates and political agendas that take away from normal academic programs. Adding another task will increase expenses, taking away from existing programs.
  • School grounds must be a safe haven for students and their teachers, free of drug paraphernalia, garbage left from parties, and individuals who may be lurking on grounds when kids arrive early to school. 

Please speak up and let the SJUSD Board know that times have changed, and community members have options at local parks to enjoy the outdoors. Kids need to be assured when they arrive at school each morning that their school will be safe and clean. 

Attending a school board meeting, or even just reviewing the Agenda, will give you an understanding of the important role played by our elected school board members. They need to hear from their constituents, and most will appreciate the feedback from parents and community members.

Be sure to sign up for Action Alerts so you are aware of important votes coming to your local school district!

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