Board Ratifies Its Only Legal Option – Close Schools Until Further Notice – Meanwhile, MHS Shark Building Demolishing Starts

Written by on July 17, 2020

Local schools will have locked doors this fall.

But some parents are really unhappy … both with the decision to go to distance learning … but with the quality of how their kids were taught over the computers last spring.

By a unanimous vote last night …. the school board agreed with the school superintendent … Ben Drati.


“What the gov has said yesterday … what the health department is saying … these are the people who work in the hospitals … they see what is happening … and the understand the implication of all this … a

“They have warned us that the direction is not to open.”

But the decision to use distance learning … at the start of the school year … is not received well by many the parents.

Here’s a sample.


PARENT ONE: “Distance distance learning doesn’t work … and there has been no evidence that the district has an capability of improving it.

“Seventy percent (of the parents) but at least a hybrid and distance learning.

PARENT TWO: “we have some kids who have much more learning loss and now that we are going into distance learning in the fall we really have to take this issue seriously.

“We are doing harm two kids when they’re not in the classroom.

PARENT THREE: “We have the capability in this weather to teach outside.

“The people say ‘what about the money?’

You haven’t asked the parents for the money… We’ll give you the money if you asked to teach outside.

Than the staff is safe … the kids are even more safe … even though I don hink they are unsafe to begin with.”

PARENT ONE AGAIN: “You are obligated to hear the 70 percent plus of the parents … who voted … they have directed you to vote.

“Any abdication of this duty can only be reasonably understood as capitulation to the teachers union.”

Analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one out of four teachers are at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19.

And in the U-S … around 3 million people over the age of 65 live in a house with a school-age child.

The school superintendent says he heard the parents … in early this week was leaning towards opening the schools.


“Even as recently as Monday morning we had plans towards open under the hybrid model to meet the needs of the families who wanted to preferred the in class option. But the covert 19 data… The county protocols have changed those plans.”

Of course all this happened in the face dramatic developments at the White House.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday said the president wants schools nationwide open … wide open.


“The President has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open.  And I was just in the Oval talking to him about that. 

“And when he says open, he means open in full — kids being able to attend each and every day at their school.

“The science should not stand in the way of this.  …

“Of course, we can [do it]. 

“Everyone else in the…Western world, our peer nations are doing it. 

“We are the outlier here.”

That statement is not correct ..

Schools elsewhere in the world are reopening in countries where the COVID rates have been beaten way back … and are way below that in the disease-ravaged United States.

No place in the modern Western world has disease rates far far below that of the United States … and when the rates in hotspots like Italy and Spain peaked … their schools were closed.

Back in Santa Monica last night School board chairman Jon Kean said the date of when kids will re-enter Malibu and santa Monica classrooms is up to the virus … and the public.


“We are not settling for distance we are not hiding behind distance-learning.

“We’re doing it because this is what the science tells us right now.

“Also our governor tomorrow is probably going to tell us right now that every district in California is going to distance (learning) with the exception of one or two districts in very small counties.”

Indeed … this afternoon … Gov. Gavin Newsom told Los Angeles County schools they will not be opening for quite some time.

In the LA County Department of public health sent out an order … distance learning only until the percentages of positive tests in Los Angeles County decreases dramatically.

In the end … the school board decided two things last night.

One … distance learning until things change.

Two … put off the discussion as to how things must change before classes can be held in school classrooms.

Board member Craig Foster …


“We live in a world we live together …

“We’re part of a community and we’re part of a bigger community.

“We’re in LA County we’re in Santa Monica we’re in Malibu we’re in the west side.

“And that community requires of us that we stay home … and keep our kids home … and do the best we can educating them at a distance.

“Because that’s what it’s going to take to get past this deadly crisis.”

School board discussions on what will trigger a reopening … and what schools would look like … will resume next Tuesday 

The Santa Monica-Malibu schools will not open for in-class instruction this August. And … swallow hard … quite probably … not at all this fall.


Meanwhile at Malibu High School … large machines have begin taking bites out of the main classroom building.

It’s called Building D … the two story structure with the big shark mural painted on it.

As part of the 175 million dollar first phase of rebuilding the school … Building D is coming down.

It was tainted with small .. nearly trace amounts of PCBs … a suspected cancer causer.

This will be the third large building demolished .,. as crews replace 50 year old and 60 year old structures at the school.

A 12-classroom middle school classroom block opened last year.

Final work is progressing on the two story front building … which will hold classrooms .. the library and administration.

The north side of Morning View Drive has been fenced off … as the sidewalks and driveways have been ripped out.

The entire street … curb to curb … will be rebuilt.

It appears that the front building will be ready for students … before the students will be medically clear to enter it.

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