In accordance with a joint-use agreement signed by the San Diego Unified School District and the City of San Diego seven years ago, on March 9, the playgrounds and playing fields at Normal Heights Elementary School were opened to the general public.
What should have been a celebratory occasion became a protest by approximately 50 students and some parents, who were led by a man shouting into a bullhorn: "Go away," "We don't want you here," "This is our school," "You're trespassing." Shouts were followed by ethnic slurs and comments about the sexual orientation of “trespassers.”
It seemed that the protesters demonstrated a misunderstanding of the joint-use agreement, which does not allow the public access to the property at all times; access will be locked during school hours. Unauthorized individuals will not be allowed to walk through and interfere with the activities of the school.
After school, on weekends, and during school holidays, the upper and lower playing fields and the playground will be open to the general public. Hours of access will be from 3:05 p.m., Monday through Thursday; from 4:05 p.m. on Fridays; and all day Saturday, Sunday, and on school holidays.
On March 9, the main gate opened at 5:15 and the demonstration continued, with the bullhorn man shouting into the face of a resident who came for what was supposed to be a "grand" opening.