Fence provides better flow at Mulino Elementary
New fencing is officially in place at Mulino Elementary, enhancing security to the school's second building that has outside-facing doors. Jennifer James, the principal's secretary, took the opportunity at the May 23 school board meeting to describe the positive impacts.
"We don't have to worry about the kids going outside and that was a big concern of many, many parents, especially kindergartners going to the bathroom and stuff like that," James said after thanking the board and Superintendent Tony Mann profusely. "And we don't have to keep the doors locked any longer, so movement between classrooms is really great."
The new fencing surrounds Mulino Elementary's second building, where every door faces the outside. The fencing has two keyed entrances. Prior to the installation, teachers had to keep their doors locked. But ironically, now that the fence has gone up, they're free to leave their doors unlocked and move between classrooms.
"They're ventilated hallways, in case anybody says that they look like bars," James said.
Some in the community had taken to social media, likening the fencing to prison walls.
Board member Linda Eskridge admitted she too thought the fencing looked a bit like prison walls prior to the fresh coat of green and white paint.
"Well they painted it, so it looks a whole lot better," Eskridge said.
James and interim Principal Mario Alba both noted that they welcome those with concerns to visit the school.
"There was one mom that was concerned, and I think she voiced some stuff on Facebook or Molalla Now, but she came and I walked her over there and I showed her all the exits and how everything worked, and she was much happier after that," James said.
"It's really great and it has improved the flow of our building tremendously, so thank you," James added.
Alba noted that the fencing was erected according to code and safety standards. He also thanked district leaders.
"Kudos. Thank you," he said. "I know it took a lot of effort. Tony, thank you for leading the charge on this."