Parents in the parking lot cause problems, administration working to find solutions

Anna Hunt, Co Editor in Chief

When the clock strikes 3:40 p.m. at Reagan, the end of school bell rings, signaling a mass exodus of mostly seniors and juniors, including myself, eager to quickly get to their vehicles and go home. However, this is way easier said than done. The presence of parents in the already overflowing student parking lot simply exacerbates the terrible traffic and cramped conditions.

Parents do not belong in the student parking lot. Period. It is only where students should be: students who attend Reagan and have paid for their parking sticker and their right to frequent the student lots.

The main issue is that there are parents or other family members of students who wait to pick up their student in the student parking lot after the school day ends. This is not how student pickup was designed.

There is a car rider line where a great majority of students who do not have a parking pass wait patiently for their pick-up person to get through the line. Even though the car rider line may have a bit of a wait, these respectful parents still go through the proper pick up channels instead of parking in the student parking lot and calling for their child.

Unfortunately, there are some parents who do as they please and park their car in the student parking lot to pick up their children or pull up after the bell rings. Every day I see cars parked along the edges of the parking lot, cars parked along the side of the road that directly leads to the exit and even cars stopped in the middle of the lanes between parking spots.

These cars block student drivers and directly inhibit them from pulling out of their parking space. Students simply must wait for the intruding parent and their child to move out of the way before they can try to move more than a couple inches. 

This doesn’t seem right to me as a junior who had to wait in the car line as a freshman for half an hour every day to get picked up. There is a system in place that parents and underclassmen need to understand and follow in order to be respectful to everyone else trying to leave school.

Many of my fellow classmates have also voiced grievances about the parents blocking the parking lot. Driving upperclassmen oftentimes have jobs they need to promptly get to or afterschool activities out of school, thus needing to leave quickly, which they cannot do if a parent is blocking them.

The extra cars also create unnecessary extra risks to students. More cars in the parking lot results in an increased risk of someone getting hit or getting into a wreck. Removing parents from the parking lot would improve traffic and decrease risk of injury and preventable accidents.

Thankfully, there are a couple of things that the school and the students have been doing to help improve the situation. Multiple students have sent emails to the administration voicing their concerns about the large number of parents in the parking lot and asking for a solution.

The administration has in turn responded with a couple of solutions. Last week I witnessed assistant principal Maurice Jackson on his golf cart, vocally directing parents out of the student lot and reminding them that the pick-up line was there for a reason. This was very effective, as many parents cleared out almost immediately.

Also, starting at 3 p.m., the gate near the art rooms and the gate by the bus lot will be locked. This new rule has just recently been put into place in order to ensure parents don’t pick up their student behind the school. If a driver does park back there, according to Jackson, they will be stuck there until the gates re-open at 4:30.

No matter the solution though, these changes will only be effective if they are continued throughout the rest of the year. Hopefully as time goes by, the number of parents in the student lot will dwindle to zero, creating a more pleasant after school experience for everyone.