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Public Outrage Over Private Restrooms

June 20, 2002

Re "District's Bathroom Brouhaha," June 18: As a parent of three children attending LAUSD schools, I am appalled! Private bathrooms for school board members? So they don't get lobbied or spoken to by the public (their constituents) on their way to the restroom down the hall ... so they can "have a moment" or because such things are de rigueur in Los Angeles? What hogwash!

Perhaps the board would like to try the restrooms that most Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and administrators use. Or for that matter, "take a moment" in the bathrooms at many of the high schools in the district. If, according to Anne Valenzuela Smith, the district's executive administrator for business issues, the members need "personal space," how does the board suppose a teacher with 38 students feels?

When will the board realize what its real priorities should be? How many textbooks would one bathroom buy? I don't dispute that board members should have comfortable and efficient work spaces; I only wonder why our teachers and students don't deserve the same.

Maggie Scott

Los Angeles

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As a 24-year veteran of the LAUSD, your article sickened me. However, I will not be able to regurgitate today in private, as our esteemed leaders would be able to do in their private bathrooms. I will be fortunate to find an empty, fully stocked bathroom with no waiting line at my year-round elementary school, where we have only six toilets for a faculty and staff of over 100 to use in a 20-minute break. These six toilets are also used by a large contingent of parents as well as the staff of the LA's BEST after-school program and LAUSD site construction workers.

The article also states that a plan is under consideration to buy or build more parking space for the new district headquarters. Appalling, when one realizes that my school has no parking lot and everyone must park up to two blocks away, subjecting our cars to vandalism and ticketing due to restricted parking. Another example of the haves and have-nots in the LAUSD.

Once again, the board is taking care of its own elite before taking care of the basic needs of its underlings. It is deplorable and unconscionable for it to allocate moneys for private bathrooms and parking garages when we are working under a severe budget crisis.

Lynette Ballas

Burbank

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After flushing taxpayers' dollars down their toilets, they can wash their hands in private.

John Salazar

Victorville

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