Overflow parking causes students to receive tardies

Overflow+parking+causes+students+to+receive+tardies

Photo by Amy McCoy

Story by Jacob Hill, Managing Editor

Junior Hannah Wren is on time.

She pulls up to the main parking lot at 8: 21 a.m., her usual time for school. She has 9 minutes before the bell rings–more than enough time to make it to first period.

Well, not quite.

The main parking lot is a cataclysm of neon cones, backed-up cars and angry students. Behold, the seemingly infinite student parking lot is finally full.

So, Hannah is directed to park in the DECA lot.

No problem. It’s just a little set back.

Well, it was just a little set back until Wren and a group of students were instructed to take a tardy, even received an escort to the tardy station.

Wren isn’t the only student who’s had this problem. Other students, like senior Aaron Jones, have learned that the main parking lot becomes a quagmire of backed up traffic and frustrated students.

“I got to the school at 8:25, and I knew that all the sophomores already have filled up the parking lot and taken all the spots,” Jones said. “It’s ridiculous that I have to ‘check’ the other parking lot before I can go to the overflow one.”

Students have begun to realize that the amount of red tape involved with the overflow parking lot is hurting them more than it is helping.

“I would have added on to the problem if I went over to ‘check’. I would have just been another car in the line of cars that have to back out one at a time because of the lack of parking spots,” Jones said. “Then I would have to go all the way around to the overflow parking lot. And guess what? It’s now 8:30, and I have to get a tardy.”

One of the major problems about traffic jams in the parking lot come from a lack of communications from the security guards at the main parking lot and the security guards at the DECA parking lot.

“The rules come from the principals, not us. This parking lot is mainly for DECA and swim. Of course Leadership is allowed in this parking lot too, but I hardly have any leadership kids parking here,” Security officer Mike James said. “It’s the overflow parking lot as well. Like I said, I don’t know about the tardy systems, that is up to the principals, I would hope they don’t count them tardy, but I really don’t know though.”

But, students are in fact getting tardies. And, according to principal Brad Bailey, the tardies are fair since the students can always arrive earlier.

“What we believe is that students should arrive well before 8:20,” Mr. Bailey said. “I would recommend arriving at 8:00, that way there is no chance of getting a tardy. We’ve always known that during the spring there are more sophomore drivers, and that can cause some problems with parking.”

Bailey said he recognizes that communication between security guards is key to allowing students to be able to get to the overflow parking lot quickly if the occasion calls for it.

“The policy is for Ms. Cullens to observe the parking lot, and when she sees that is full she will radio Mr. James at the overflow parking lot. That way he knows to let students in,” Bailey said. “The main problem is when multiple students arrive later than 8:20. I understand that there is some communication problems, and I will fix that.”

Bailey said he is willing to work with students, but it is also the student’s job to arrive at school with enough time in order to avoid a tardy.

“As far as tardies go, it depends on the situation. If you arrive after 8:20, you are responsible for being late. If there is a unique situation where there is a traffic jam before 8:20 then we will be able to excuse a tardy,” Bailey said. “However, we are here to teach responsibility. Students should get to school earlier to avoid being late. You can always speak to an administrator, and they will evaluate the situation and decide the best course of action.”