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GannettUSA Today

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Public pay, public use

School property belongs to the public, not just the Board of Education or the school administrators. So the Middletown board shouldn't have had to wait for residents' requests to allow them to use the tracks at the township's two high schools. And it's a shame officials have to install security cameras to record any misuse.

The extra precautions stem from a vandalism spree at High School North in October 2003 that left obscenities scrawled on school windows and throughout the athletic area. The indiscretions of the few have cost the many the use of facilities they paid for.

The rules imposed make sense: runners, walkers and joggers are welcome whenever the gates are open, usually from early morning to dusk. No skateboards or bicycles, however. The track at North may be closed during construction work on the playing field this summer. That's fine. Let's hope vandals don't spoil a good thing.

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