Wa-Hi renovation will make school safer


I urge my fellow citizens to consider improved safety of our students as a major feature of the proposed Walla Walla High School renovation. The physical design of the campus can greatly impact the ability of both staff and students to react during an emergency.

No one likes to make decisions from a place of fear, but recent violent events in both Connecticut and California have made me mindful of how we can best support the professionals we ask not only to instruct our students but to keep them safe.

The redesign of Wa-Hi introduces internal hallways to buildings and internal doors to classrooms, replacing buildings that are accessed externally from approximately 120 separate entrances. In current plans, that number will be cut to approximately 20 or fewer external doors.

These changes will allow for improved control and monitoring of student movement, while still preserving students’ interaction with the natural setting of the campus with its picturesque creek and bridges.

When I entrust my greatest treasure to a staff who are trained and ready to keep them safe in unforeseen and unimaginable circumstances, these features will provide an extra measure of security and perhaps buy time that is beyond value.

Our children and their educational guardians deserve our support — for safety and for an improved educational experience. Join me in voting “yes” on the Wa-Hi bond.

Megan Blair-Cabasco

Walla Walla



fatherof5 says...

Good points, Ms. Blair-Cabasco!

Posted 28 January 2013, 3:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

WOW - learning while in fear - the only thing those students fear is people such as this letter writer.

Posted 28 January 2013, 6:26 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

I bet that sounded good in your head, namvet, before you wrote it.

Ms. Blair-Cabasco has made a good argument about safety. You might not want to pay for the bond, but that doesn't negate the validity of her point.

Posted 28 January 2013, 6:42 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

The point is taken but do you live your life in fear of what could happen - if you do you don't walk out your front door!!! Preparing for my security is being able to protect myself and if you are so worried hire armed security and you have no worries. Sandy Hook had a secure school and look what happened and in a gun free zone. I don't live on what might happen but being careful deal with it when it does happen.

Posted 29 January 2013, 6 a.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

She isn't suggesting not to go to school out of fear, but that the school will be easier to secure in the event of a lockdown for whatever reason. Wa-Hi has an armed police officer already, who does an excellent job. It is a big campus, though. Colombine HS also had an armed security officer. Events like that are extraordinarily rare, and I honestly lose no sleep worrying about that here. Nonetheless, it would still be good for the administration to be able to more easily secure the buildings.

Posted 29 January 2013, 6:56 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

OK fatherof5 - let's delve into this a little further - I can't fathom the amount of people that forego logic and reality without trying to promote fear and smokescreens. Now if one were to consider that the problem of today started some time ago with non-observant parents and undisciplined children. If you search and read all of the incidences in these massacres you will find that is a big issue with each and every one. If parents would continue parenting after giving birth instead of leaving the parenting to the teachers and police it would make this country a lot safer. You stated in a previous post that you wanted more school children to expound on the new school. When these children mature and get a job to live on there own and find themselves responsible then I would take that into consideration. But until then I would find it fairly irresponsible on my part to actually take them serious. It's parents of the aforementioned that are the greatest problems of today and reckless spending fits right into the same category.

Posted 29 January 2013, 6:10 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

Namvet, I will grant you that the world would be a better place if more parents spent more time and energy teaching their children right from wrong and reading with them at home. This wouldn't solve all of the world's problems, but it would help. We don't disagree there.

I will also grant you that I am not going to vote yes on a $48 million bond solely on the say-so of a 17-year-old student. That student will have much to learn about what it is to own property, pay bills and be a full-fledged community member. I also would not vote yes on the merits of the "safety" argument alone that is articulated in the above letter. Taking away 90% of the outside doors is great, but not THAT great.

That said, do I believe that a student's perspective is helpful when she describes trying to learn in a crowded classroom or being bused daily to track practice or her anxiety about intending to major in chemistry in college without having been properly trained due to a lack of labs at Wa-Hi. Yes.

And do I consider it relevant for safety and heat efficiency that 90% of the outside doors will be eliminated? Yes.

So, for me, when I include their perspectives with those of others that are promoting the bond, then their perspectives do add weight to my other considerations. And when I subtract the legitimate arguments that have been made against the bond, such as the costs you have written about, my overall conclusion is that the bond is a net positive....not on one argument alone, but on the totality of the various arguments. You and I disagree, but I hope my logic is at least understandable to you.

Posted 30 January 2013, 12:57 p.m. Suggest removal

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