I distinctly recall at age 11 or so having a Little League baseball game canceled due to smog, “Geez, adults, how did you let this happen?” I thought to myself. “They even sing in the TV commercials, 'Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.' This is the national pastime, childhood innocence and my flippin' lungs you're messing with.”
OK, so I was a strange kid (hold your applause), but I wonder how many students felt the same way as Valley Vista Continuation High School in Fountain Valley was donated a bulletproof school entry system this week.
Edison High School in Huntington Beach is also scheduled to receive such a system, which includes the $499 door lock shown here that can be operated remotely by somebody inside if an intruder is threatening people on campus:
The systems are being gifted by Safer Schools for America, a Paramount-based company that supplies hardware and ballistic protection to correctional facilities, courthouses and other government institutions, and John Paul Dijoria, the founder of the John Paul Mitchell hair-care line. (For these donations, Dijoria is working through his latest venture, Rok Mobile, “the first wireless provider in the country to offer mobile & music under one roof – for one low price.”)
Perhaps some if not all who attended this week's donation ceremony in Fountain Valley had lumps in their throats as they realized the sickening school shootings across the country have brought us to such a low point, where we need bulletproof locks, doors and windows at what should be sanctuaries for youth.
Or maybe that's just a feeling among old farts whose worst fears as children involved the denial of triple-treats at the snack bar because dark plumes from Kaiser Steel nixed a ball game.
Valley Vista Principal Kerry Clitheroe welcomed the gifts, telling KCBS2, “This could happen … at any school.”
Breathe in …
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.