Friday, May 8, 2015

ARE OUR CHILDREN SAFE IN SCHOOLS?

Not too many people are aware that our kids going to private schools are not as well protected as kids attending public schools. What do I mean?

When the great Long Beach earthquake hit in 1933, it brought 70 school buildings tumbling down. Officials said thousands could have been killed if schools had been in session when the earthquake hit at 5:54 PM. This earthquake prompted a strict state law that set standards and inspections for public schools. But the law, known as the Field Act, did not cover private schools.

Today, public schools in California have a very strict way to assure children's safety. The permitting of these buildings requires the plans go thru the state architects office to be reviewed by a licensed structural engineer. Generally speaking, this process ensures that these buildings are super safe in case of an earthquake. Private schools, on the other hand, don't have to go thru this permitting process. Any Department of Building and Safety can issue permits for private schools. In addition, existing private schools in older buildings don't have any requirements to upgrade these structures to current seismic, or earthquake, codes.

Don't our children in private schools deserve the same secure and safe environments as children in public schools?

I think cities should act to require upgraded earthquake safety for all the children in California.

What do you think?