School fence not fully vetted


The Westlake Village White Oak school fencing proposal is yet another example of government employees coming up with a solution in search of a problem.

My guess is, if asked, the Las Virgenes district will spew a long list of reasons that this fence must be built. Most of those reasons will feed into the worries, fears and concerns held by many if not most of the generation who are now parents of the students at White Oak.

In fairness it’s not their fault, because my generation brought them up to fear just about everything from walking to the store or, God forbid, riding public transportation.

Such a fence is guaranteed to do four things: dramatically alter the character of the open space we’ve all come to love; divert funds away from other uses; give voters a reflection point the next time the district comes around with their hands out asking for yet another bond measure; and, most importantly, have absolutely no impact on the unthinkable: an active shooter event.

You don’t need to be a sworn peace officer to know that a wrought iron fence won’t stop bullets and locked doors may delay, but not prevent, a deterred psychopath from entering school grounds.

Wanting to have secure schools is a noble goal indeed; however, there’s a difference between feeling safe and actually being secure. While a wrought iron fence may make those who work at the district and their board member bosses feel like they’ve done everything possible to make White Oak a secure school site, feeling secure isn’t the same as being secure.

We need only think back one or two shootings where the shooter simply shot their way in the front door.

In closing, if this is such a well thought out plan and good use of taxpayer money, the district should have no problem pausing long enough to articulate the facts about what prompted this fence and, assuming there is a credible threat to the security of our children, why a fence will provide more security than perhaps an armed guard. I’m all ears.

Todd Bernstein
Westlake Village