Released by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District on May 10, 2011:
Several weeks ago Manhattan Beach Unified School District received a facility use application for the filming of a movie that was represented to be a comedy about the typical life of a high school student. A production company requested use of a portion of Mira Costa High School to provide a backdrop for the film. Facilities use requests are received and processed by MBUSD administrative services personnel at the District Office, not by individual school sites. The application was approved for three days of filming, May 8-10
At the end of the first day of filming, District officials responded to concerns brought to their attention. They further investigated and became aware of additional information that the theme and content of the movie was not as it was billed, but instead promoted a lifestyle that is inconsistent with the values of the District and the goals of the District’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Taskforce.
The District immediately canceled the contract and all remaining production activities. Dr. Steve Romines, Assistant Superintendent, indicated, “Once we learned the true subject matter of the movie, we immediately canceled the contract. The District will not be receiving any facilities use fees for this canceled project. The District is also demanding that any footage taken not be used in the production.”
Ms. Ellyn Schneider, Executive Director of Educational Services, added, “The MBUSD Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Taskforce has worked tirelessly to create a campus culture at all school sites which advocates and supports healthy lifestyle choices. The content of this movie is clearly inconsistent with our goals as a District and community.”
School district facilities in the South Bay are appealing to Los Angeles area production companies for use as settings for films and television shows. Manhattan Beach Unified School District leases facilities to outside organizations following the guidelines outlined in Board Policy.