Lane and her husband live close to Skyline, work from home, and they say they hear every single word blasted from the school’s frequently utilized PA system.
“I’ve heard it early in the morning, at 7 — Beep! And then an announcement,” Lane said at a neighborhood association meeting tonight. “Somebody’s got their hand on that little button,” she added. “It’s too loud, and it’s used excessively.”
Skyline’s new principal, Al Sye, seemed to listen carefully to the neighbors’ complaints and suggestions about truancy, graffiti, track and field lights (more on that to come) and noise pollution. Someone suggested disabling a few of the speakers that project most directly into the neighborhood, or to do away with PA announcements except for emergencies — which Sye said he’d consider.
“It’s not impossible,” Sye said.
Several neighbors also talked about a popular destination for kids who are cutting class — the intersection of Fernhoff and Bacon roads, near Merritt College. But whenever they’ve tried to report the truants, they said, they’ve had a tough time finding anyone who is interested and willing to take action.
One woman said she recently called the “truancy hotline” number posted in her neighborhood newspaper, but that she was told (quite rudely, apparently) to call the police. Others said the main number at Skyline sometimes just rings and rings.
There’s a reason for that, explained Vinnie Bly, a new assistant principal at the high school who also came to the meeting. “We inherited a school with no voice mail system.”
That’s not the only deficiency they inherited. Sye told the neighbors that when he was the principal of a large high school in Oak Park, Ill., he had 26 security officers for 2,800 students. Now, with 2,100 kids at Skyline, he has five. How’s that for a statistic?
image from Kevin’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons