As I drove by a local school on Saturday, I saw a somewhat unusual site. Several church groups were in front of the school’s gymnasium holding sign-ups for vacation Bible school.
This site made me begin thinking about the public use of schools. Some schools are open to allowing the public to hold events at the facility. However other schools are not so generous.
I think the attitude of the principal has a lot to do with how much the school is used by the general public. Schools are public buildings paid for by the public taxes. Therefore, they are considered to be open to the general pubic.
However as with all buildings, there has to be limits or the facility would be misused and property would be destructed. I can see how some principals would be hesitant about allowing the building to be open to the public when school is not in session.
I think in most cases the gym and the cafeteria are the most desired locations. Groups and organizations like to use the gym to hold sporting events and other activities. In other cases, the cafeteria in a school can be a great place to conduct a meeting.
I do not see a problem with public organizations using the school building for non-school related activities. However, I think that the group should be held responsible for any damaged property. I am uncertain how far the freedom of the building should go. For example, I do not know that the school building should be used for birthday parties or private family gatherings.
Because different school personnel in my county seem to have different outlooks on how the building can be used by the general public during non-school hours, I wondered how other counties handled this situation. If your county willingly opens it school doors for non-school related functions, I would love to hear from you. I would also like to hear from those of you who do not feel that a school building should be used for non-school related functions.