Screens Installed at Local Schools

Photo by Charly SHELTON
Screens, like this one at Lincoln Elementary School, have been installed at some schools to further protect children from unwanted attention.


Some local elementary schools have been sporting a new color around the campus this school year – black. New security screens were installed over the summer at some schools to deter passersby from looking in on the kids playing on the playground.

“Typically, these are our campuses where areas of the school, like the playground or the seating tables where the kids eat lunch, are really visible from the street. Some principals requested we hang screens outside, just for privacy,” said Kristine Nam, communications director for Glendale Unified School District. “Those were installed at about five or six campuses last spring and summer. Other campuses either already had screens or bushes that were in the way or are not on the street. At some of our schools, the main building faces the street so you really can’t see the playground. So not every school has screens. It really is at the discretion of the principals whether they feel like they needed it.”

As of press time, some of these screens were affixed to the outside of the school fences. But this configuration posed problems. Screens could easily be cut away by someone on the outside of the fence. In addition, they are a bit more unsightly according to some of the parents at the schools. Consequently, plans are underway for some of the screens to be removed and replaced.

“It is my understanding that the plan is eventually they’ll be on the inside of the fence,” Nam said. “We had a couple of schools over the summer where the screens were installed on the outside and folks did not like the look of them. Those are actually in the process of being removed this week and this weekend and the new screens will be replaced where needed. They will be a little bit tighter on the inside. The kind that were ordered at a couple of the schools didn’t look that nice once they installed them.”

Spying on children has become a greater concern especially after a recent incident at Pacific Park in Glendale. On Aug. 17 at 2:45 p.m., an unidentified man was caught on cellphone video as he stood outside the fence near the children’s splash play area and touched his private parts through his pants while talking on the phone. A witness recorded him, and then saw him get into a dark colored 2018 Toyota Camry with black wheels and leave the park. He is described as a male, 30-40 years old, black hair, black beard, and has a medium build. See the QR code attached to this story for the cellphone video, or visit the Videos tab on

With recent events like this, security screens seem needed more than ever. Even without a specific event, they provide more peace of mind overall knowing that the children are protected from view at all times.

“It really just gives you more of a sense of safety and a sense of community. So when the kids are on the playground, you feel a lot safer and more enclosed when they’re on the campus and on the playground,” Nam said.

Screens or no, the first step in safety is being aware of surroundings. If someone notices that an adult is standing around watching kids without a reason, the best thing to do is report it.

“We’re constantly reminding our parents and our students that if you see something, say something. We have a tip line on our GUSD app, we have a tip line phone number like a general number the parents can call, anonymously or not,” Nam said. “Obviously, they can call their school’s main office, but kids and parents alike – if you see anything suspicious, whether it’s somebody walking outside the school who doesn’t seem like they should be there, or something on social media or anything that seems like a threat, we always ask that they just notify us immediately. We would rather know too much than not enough.”