To the Editor:
Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and Glacier Ridge School have more serious problems to deal with than putting up a chain-link fence that will cost taxpayers more than $50,000. Glacier Ridge has one of the most secluded playgrounds in the district, backing to houses, not busy roads or wooded areas.
The district stated three reasons for a fence. One, to stop students who run from school. Where is the data to support this claim? In the 19 years I have lived behind the school, I have never witnessed a runner. In the rare event this may occur, there are many other effective ways to solve the issue without costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. Woods Creek had a “runner” who would go out the front door. A fence wouldn’t have helped.
Two was that the students need a “visual boundary.” A “visual” boundary already exists! Most of the homeowners already have fences, while others have landscaping that provides a very obvious visual boundary, even to the youngest students. If one stands in the schoolyard, you will see exactly what I mean.
The last reason given was to keep dogs off the property. Doesn’t the board see that installing a fence will actually invite dog owners to use the property as a dog park rather then keeping dogs away?
In an emergency, a fence may prevent escape from an internal threat. Improperly selected fences can exert a negative influence on the atmosphere of a school and the community, giving a prison yard-like appearance.
The few people who make these decisions might not be on the school board a few years from now, let alone remain in Crystal Lake. But we will be stuck with chain-link fences around all of our schools and a higher tax bill to boot. The board should spend more time worrying about important issues such as the use of seclusion rooms and their lack of properly reporting on them and not an unnecessary fence.