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Valley Perspective

Schools Near Transit Stops

February 04, 2001

Re "Plan to Build Schools on MTA Land Hits Bumps," Jan. 30.

I fail to understand the strategies of Los Angeles Unified School District officials who want to purchase Metropolitan Transportation Authority property near the Red Line in North Hollywood for the purpose of building a high school. What of the location?

First of all, why build a high school within a mile of another one? How about building one in an area, such as Sun Valley, from which many students emanate? Couldn't high schools be spread around, in order to minimize transportation expenses to the District and inconveniences to students and their families?

Second, what about Red Line commuters / patrons and NoHo merchants? Don't they deserve insulation and protection from all the snarls and hazards of high schools, which include not only traffic but habitual teenage abuse of and unsupervised intrusion into and indulgence in the neighborhood?

And finally, what about students themselves? Anyone who's dealt with teenagers--either raised them and / or taught them--will tell you that what is most needed is protection from opportunities to get distracted or to stray. How many countless ways youngsters will find to evade responsibility when located adjacent to rapid transit and commercial enterprises!

The LAUSD has run out of excuses for dragging its feet. Yes, schools need to be built now, but not in NoHo, a community to be admired for what it's doing, in spite of what it's been through!

MARY LOU PRESTON

North Hollywood

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