Venice Security Fence: A Safe Approach or a Waste of Funds?


T Lopez, Opinion Editor

Venice High School has had a big reputation for many for the last century for many reasons—one of which is that we’re one of the last open campus schools in LAUSD. 

Pretty much everyone in my family has come to Venice. I even have pictures of myself as a toddler with the infamous Gunther the Gondolier mascot and memories of hiding under my mom’s jacket when the Homecoming Game fireworks would go off. 

For as long as I can remember, Venice has always been open to the general public and neighborhood to admire and enjoy. With that said, it felt odd hearing that they may put a fence around our school. 

The reasoning for the possible eight-foot-tall wrought-iron gate is student safety, as well as preventing vandalism, but the majority of the vandalism I’ve seen is done within the school by students. How might a giant fence stop that if the problem is inside the school?

The outside community that admires Venice is usually very respectful of the space, and even if they try to get in at later hours, there’s not enough light to see anything. 

Another issue that arises is how students will get to class. A lot of students, myself included, use the front area of the school to get to class and meetings with less hassle. The hallways are always super crowded and the outdoor areas will become the same if the front lawn is inaccessible to students. 

Fencing students in the school feels like a recipe for disaster considering how many students use the front lawn. The fence will be open during nutrition and lunch, but imagine how hard it will be to rush to class when you have to wait for everyone to get through the three entry points in the fence. I doubt those entry points will be large enough to allow many students to enter and exit safely and efficiently considering how many students typically eat or relax on the lawn.

 It also may make the school feel more like a jail. The school wants to paint it blue in order to make it feel less jail-like, but no matter what color you paint it, an eight-foot-tall wrought-iron gate is still an eight-foot-tall wrought-iron gate. 

Personally, the idea of a fence just feels off-putting. I went to a school that had a fence encompassing it, and it didn’t feel safer—instead, it just felt like I was in a cage for the neighbors to see. 

Venice has already lost so much of its charm that it doesn’t even feel like the Venice I grew up with anymore. I feel like the fence would just bring more issues instead of actually helping our school. Especially with COVID-19 still being very much at play and ever-evolving, keeping us in a space that will become even more crowded is concerning. We’ll just have to wait and see what the school board thinks.