By Peter Hyle
Driving a car comes with lots of responsibilities. Paying for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance takes a lot of money. For driving students at FC, purchasing a parking permit is included on the list of must haves for school. Having a permit is a requirement to be able to park in the school’s student parking lot.
Aside for paying for the actual use and convenience of the parking spaces, the permits themselves serve many purposes.
“We run the drug dogs through the student lot and it just makes it easier to identify whose car it is,” said assistant principal Jeff Cerqueira.
But mostly, the permits are used so the staff can make sure that students do not park in the wrong places.
“If someone, for example, parked in a fire lane, I can look at the number on their permit and know the student,” said dean of students Joe Voelker.
Though they are used for many things, parking permits are not used to collect money. The permits themselves cost only two dollars which covers the cost it takes for each individual permit to be made. It is simply a way for the school to monitor the parking lot. However some students disagree with the procedures of the parking permits at FC.
“I can see why they serve a purpose, but I don’t think that we should have to pay for them. They should be provided by the school,” said senior Gannon Yeaton.
Most teachers would agree that parking permits are necessary for the school, whether they belong to the students or the staff.
“Yes [parking permits are needed] so that students park in their spaces and teachers park in their places. If they [students] had no parking permits, students would just park wherever they want. They might just take the teachers spaces,” said math teacher Rusty Cecil.
There are measures taken to make sure that students do park in their designated parking lot.
“Basically, the teachers monitor their parking lot themselves. If they see a car that doesn’t belong there, then they call it into the office and we find out who the car is registered to,” said Cerqueira.
At the start of every school year, there seems to be a problem with getting every student that uses the parking lot to buy a parking permit. The administration staff regularly checks the student parking lot to make sure everyone has one. This year, on the first check, seventy-eight percent of students did not have their parking permits.
“I forgot my permit at home, so I didn’t have it on the first check,” said senior Noelle Wilcox.
On the first few checks, the students are given a warning. If the problem proceeds, the student gets a demerit. The problem rarely progresses to the point where the student loses their driving privileges or receives a parking violation.
“We will never tow a student’s car away.” said Cerqueira, “That’s just a misconception.”
The past few years, FC has relaxed parking permit regulations due to building renovations on the school. Parking was a bit of a challenge during that time, but now the staff has been making sure that every student purchases a parking permit. Most students do not realize how important that plastic pass hanging from the rearview mirror is.
“Driving is a privilege, and so is parking on school grounds. And that can be taken away if rules are not followed,” said Cerqueira.