Parking Pass Purge

New lot exiting procedures, penalties causes loss of privileges, extended time in traffic


Matt Rogers

Students wait in traffic to exit the junior lot after school.

In order to keep students safe while exiting the South High junior lot, Principal Patrice Aitch has begun confiscating student parking passes for students she’s seen running to their cars or not following safe driving habits. 

Students are also getting their pass taken because there is confusion on how the SRO (School Resource Officer) is directing traffic now. In years past the SRO or the person directing traffic would let about 20 through the stop sign by the football field without having to stop to make traffic move more efficiently out of the junior lot. After that, the person directing traffic would let about 20 cars exit from the junior lot. However this is not the case anymore. Now students must stop twice before they can exit school property–once right after the football field and once at the Hanna Road intersection.  

Junior Allyson Flake said she had her parking pass taken temporarily because she was confused about the new directing of traffic. 

“I had my pass taken for a short period not for running but because I was confused on the way the way the SRO was directing traffic. She waved the car forward so I followed the car in front of me as I have many times before but was then stopped and told to give my pass up on the spot,” said Flake.

Junior Daniel Tabaka said he finds the new traffic regulations unnecessary.

“I find the new way to regulate traffic by doing one car at a time is ridiculous and not efficient. Isn’t the point of the SRO so that the students don’t have to waste time stopping at stop sign by the entrance to the football field and to make traffic move quicker?” asked Tabaka.

Junior Trey Jenkins said his pass was taken for running to his car.

“I was running to my car like I have every day in years past then one day Patrice Aitch came up to my window and took my pass without any warning,” said Jenkins.

All of this new enforcement is due to recent close calls of people running across the street almost being hit by cars and fender benders. In a recent email from Aitch sent to every student she stated “Those who are in violation of safe driving practices will have their parking passes suspended or revoked.”

For junior James Stone, he said he understands rushing to cars can be an issue and students should drive safely but thinks traffic moves much slower now.

“I understand that the safety of South High students is the priority and that running to cars could cause issues, but more time stuck in traffic at school affects me and my classmates being late to sport practices, work, and other commitments after school. I have gotten stuck behind the buses before due to making every car stop at the stop sign now and I was 15 minutes late to practice,” said Stone.

The list goes on of students saying they have been late to commitments after school and who have had their pass taken, but however you may feel about how traffic is being regulated or enforced, failure to follow safe driving habits means potential loss of privilege of being able to drive to school.

Aitch also included in her email that “As young adults behind the wheel of a powerful and dangerous object, you have a responsibility to yourself, parents, and other people to be safe as you drive.”

Junior Cole Stanley said he understands driving to school is a responsibility, but feels a lack of trust from administration.

“I drive responsibly at school, but am I really being micromanaged so much at South High these days that I can’t even run outdoors after the final bell has rang,” said Stanley. 

Assistant Principal Angie Pappas-Muyco explains that student safety is a top priority. 

“Keeping kids safe is the top priority here at South. People are in a rush to exit the building. It is a ton to manage and important that all follow the protocols so that we exit the grounds in an efficient and timely manner,” she said.