Re “Laurel Span added to potential sites for West Hollywood middle school,” Nov. 14 issue
As a teacher at Laurel and a resident of this community, I would like to take this opportunity to make some clarifications about your article.
First, it is misleading for anyone to imply that Brian Wisniewski was double-dealing and trying to undermine our new magnet by trying to hand over our campus to this new school on a platter. He has nothing to gain by this (unlike others) and it is completely not in keeping with the person I have known for a decade. I have been working closely with our principal on this magnet project for two years and he has been 100% committed during this entire time.
Second, a school principal has no power to hand over a school to anyone else.
Third, I don’t think [LAUSD Board member Nick] Melvoin is ever “thrown for a loop.” I think he’s proven himself to be very capable in his position. He knows exactly what he is doing at all times. After all, he has an entire staff dedicated to ensuring that he is kept abreast of all issues in his district.
Fourth, the number of folks at Laurel expressing displeasure with plans to have this new academy take over our campus is definitely not a “small but vocal minority.” The majority of the faculty signed a letter of protest about this plan. There is an active Facebook page called “Save Laurel” which has been following this saga. The town hall meetings at Laurel last spring and this fall were very well-attended. We are a small school. Obviously, we are not going to draw hundreds of people to our meetings. Vocal, yes. Proportionally, however, we are anything but a minority.
Happily, I can report that the Laurel community received a letter stating that our magnet is safe. Hopefully, this will remain the case for the foreseeable future and we can move on and build the exciting program which we are currently implementing.
However, the community should be aware that Fairfax High School is now dealing with a similar dilemma as we recently faced at Laurel. A Police Academy Magnet and Career Transition Center for special needs students are currently unsure about their future at their current location and status at Fairfax High School.
I’d like to remind everyone that there are middle school options available in the area: Laurel, Bancroft [and] Burroughs. I don’t understand why limited resources are being diverted to create a new middle school instead of trying to bolster already-existing programs.
Also, I am still baffled about individuals who stormed out of a community meeting at Fairfax High School regarding this new academy in October saying that they “were promised Laurel.” Where did they acquire this sense of entitlement to our school? Who made this promise? Why are schools being “promised” to unknown entities without community input? Shouldn’t we all be concerned about “promises” made without transparency?
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