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PAYING TO PARK

Many students are questioning the fairness of having to pay to park in their high school lots. Some only see logic in paying for spots if their money benefits the school.

“I chose to pay the $40 to get a closer parking space,” said Aimee Doyle, a senior at Bonanza High School where students can pay for a specific spot. “I really do not have a problem with paying, though, because I know the money goes to better our school.” This year and last, the money went to the senior class.

But other students see the fees as unfair.

“I think the parking should be strictly on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Green Valley High School senior Skyler Holloway. “When I get there at 7 in the morning but still have to park further back, it just starts to seem slightly ridiculous — and it is just because I prefer not to invest in a $5 sticker.” Holloway didn’t have a sticker last school year, but he does have one this year because of the continuous parking problems he experienced.

Green Valley Principal Jeff Horn said schools don’t charge for specific spots because of a recent rules change by the district. Last year the school had a tiered system, but that has changed as well.

“Last year we charged $25 for a senior parking spot, which are the spots closer to the school,” Horn said. “This year, we chose as a school to only charge $5 for the sticker decals that students place on their cars in order to park in our lot.” According to Horn, the $5 fee allows students of all financial backgrounds to participate.

He noted that the stickers also identify students’ cars.

“As administrators we want to limit safety issues, and with these stickers we can identify cars in our lot that are not supposed to be there and may be a threat to students or staff,” Horn said.

Bonanza students say they are not paying to reserve a spot, but for the right to paint a curb on a spot, which often discourages other students from parking there.

“It is fun to use your creativity and kind of experiment on your curb,” said Bonanza senior Gabby Tan-Torres. “You can basically do whatever you want, like paint pictures or write your name; it is up to the student. It makes the school seem more personalized.”

Some students find alternate places to park, in order to avoid paying at all.

“I think paying anything to park at a public school is ridiculous,” said Green Valley senior Jordan Seegmiller. “Ever since I got a car, I started parking in the church parking lot behind our school so I did not have to deal with any of the drama or fines. I even know some kids who park in the staff parking lot instead.”

But some student drivers believe the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to getting a parking spot closer to the campus.

“It cost me $25 for a personalized, close spot,” said Samantha Snyder, a senior at Bonanza, which also has a tiered system. “But for how often I am running late to school, the closer I am to my first class, the better. It is crazy getting to school in the morning and I am thankful to not have to fight for a parking spot.”

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