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Another perspective on Tokay High School’s track

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Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 12:00 am

I'm responding to your article regarding usage of the Tokay track by community members. I am a Lodi resident and the parent of a child who participates with the Stockton Starz Track Club, which did use the track occasionally.

On June 5, about 12 kids were working out while other community members were playing handball and walking the track at Tokay. Our group was confronted by a representative of Tokay High School who would not identify himself but accused us of being there without permission. We stated that we followed other walkers into the track by way of a back gate that was open.

The Tokay rep was rude, accusatory and commanded that we had to have authorization to use the track, and since we didn't, we must leave. This person never spoke to the others using the track.

Most of the track team members are students who attend Lodi Unified schools. I thought it important to provide the News-Sentinel and public with the real truth of what is actually happening at these facilities.

Your article included a version of events provided by the single Tokay High School staff member there that day, who clearly has no interest in any type of community outreach whatsoever.

The real issue here is usage of school facilities being extended to the community and finding a balance so that the community feels included. A sense of community partnership with your neighborhood school could build vital support needed now under these economic times. A mutual respect given by the community and staff of LUSD is in dire need. Districts and some employees like the one at Tokay on June 5 have almost taken the facility usage enforcement to such an extreme that they absolutely discourage any community support whatsoever.

These schools and their facilities are funded by people who want to live and pay taxes here. If the approach and attitude of LUSD personnel towards the public does not change, more and more people will flee to other communities that are supportive of children, their sports, health and development.

Stephanie Sefried

Lodi

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