Parking problems

Students should be allowed to sit in cars before school

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Photo by Allyson Smith

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There’s a saying that a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. That’s what has happened with students sitting in their vehicles before school starts. For the first ten weeks of school, students who arrived early were allowed to remain in their cars; however, administrators are now in full-throttle to prevent students from staying in the parking lot before the first bell. 

Students should not be forced to enter the school as soon as they park their vehicles; they should be allowed to stay in their cars before the first bell rings to prepare for the day, finish breakfast or study. This makes the most sense.

Most teachers do not arrive until 8 a.m. Many students arriving early are here for homework assistance or makeup quizzes. For these students, the 15 or so minutes they get to sit in their cars is enough time to prepare themselves for the long school day ahead or simply to take advantage of this extra quiet time to study or read. Making these early-bird students go to the cafeteria deprives them of precious moments of quiet time and adds a long trek to the cafeteria only to have to turn around and go to a classroom, adding more traffic in the hallways.

The enforcement of this policy also could result in more students arriving at school “just on time” to avoid being kicked out of their cars. This may cause a pile-up of students entering the school around the same time, causing more traffic in the car line. This could lead to increased tardies and become dangerous as more students begin to drive, especially in the spring semester when more sophomores are driving.

As for COVID-19 precautions, students sitting in their cars fits perfectly within the CDC recommended guidelines. Students are socially distanced while talking to others through rolled-down windows. It also gives students time to remain mask-free. For those trying to finish breakfast, this is essential, and it’s much safer than the cafeteria or a classroom. 

The reason for making students exit their cars is because of inappropriate behavior by a few students. Enforcing this policy because of the few who have made bad decisions is not equitable. The students who arrive early should not be stereotyped or generalized, and a few students’ choices to engage in bad behavior should not affect the rest of the students utilizing their time responsibly. Furthermore, if students want to engage in activities prohibited on school property, they will find a way, whether it be in their car or in school bathrooms. The administrator in the parking lot who directs students to exit their vehicles should instead be able to monitor for illicit behavior.

Those bad apples should be tossed out, and leave the rest of the bunch to sit in their cars.