Peninsula High Relocation Plans Face Opposition

San Mateo parents and the San Mateo police chief voiced their concerns about a proposal to relocate Peninsula High to either San Mateo High's or Hillsdale High's campuses, saying the move could spark gang violence.

The San Mateo County Times reported that a proposal to relocate to either San Mateo High's or Hillsdale High's campuses is facing widespread opposition from families there and the San Mateo police chief.

Concerns about gang violence were the primary reason why people at a San Mateo Union High School District meeting on Monday were so opposed having the Peninsula High campus moved to the same site as a traditional high school, the Times reported.

According to the Times:

"The addition of outside rival gang members in this fragile neighborhood," Police Chief Susan Manheimer wrote in a memo, "will likely create violent conflicts, open hostility, and an environment that will take extraordinary police resources to quell."

Since —the $186 million bond measure that will pay off district debt, fund classroom projects and finance a new continuation school to replace the high school district's continuation schol—Superintendent Scott Laurence has been working on finding a more suitable location for Peninsula High, which currently is housed on the former Crestmoor High site.

Four options have been proposed so far, with three focusing on moving Peninsula High outside of San Bruno.

The Times continued:

But the potential of melding Peninsula students with traditional students caused opposition from San Mateo and Hillsdale parents, the San Mateo City Council and Chief Manheimer.

Police estimate that 20 percent of Peninsula students have ties to criminal street gangs, some of which are based in San Bruno and Millbrae and have rivalries with gangs in North Central.

This raises the question: If Peninsula High can't be moved to another site because of concerns about gang violence, then where should the school be relocated? Or should it just stay in San Bruno?

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John Hanson May 23, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Why should San Bruno house the gangs? We already have the jail. Time someone else share these types of students.. Sell half of the site and fix the other half for sports fields for the community. Now there is an idea for the city for a change.
Chris Kiely May 23, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Interestingly, when the High School District was discussing making that site surplus a few years ago, the neighbors consistently indicated that they had no problems with the kids from the continuation school. One of the "disadvantages" of the Pen site, isolation, is actually an advantage. These kids, all of whom had some problem or issue with their original site may be better off being away from the situation where they were getting in trouble before. Think of it in terms of the gang issue: if the school is Hillsdale or SMH, kids with some gang affiliation can be back on their home turf in 5-20 minutes of the end of school. They'll have a lot less energy for hassling eachother if they have to spend an hour on public transit getting home.
Joe Capote May 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I have to agree. I do recall that a few years ago, by and large the community had no problems with the student population and the kids were fond of the school. In fact, most residents who spoke out said they would rather have the school there than a redevelopment effort. No one had a real issue with the north county location. @John, the problem is that the city does not own this land. It is owned by the SMUHSD. So the city is in no position to be an angel investor, swooping down and snatching up the land should the High School District decide to sell it off. I remember speaking with the SMUHSD supe at the time the 7-11 committee was discussing making this surplus. As passionate as San Bruno is about the sports fields, the rest of the county (which the SMUHSD serves) cares very little, and would be more than happy to sell off the land for increased revenue.


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