How should we handle the overcrowded parking lots at Grady?

The Southerner

Continue allowing all students to drive to school

Rachel Hasson

All students should be able to drive to school as long as they have a valid license; mainly because they waited sixteen years to get it, and should obviously be able to use it. Grady’s  administration has been discussing the issue of limited parking and the effects it has on the student body for this whole school year. While some think to resolve this we should limit parking to upperclassmen, I believe that would only cause more arguments. But besides that, many students use their driving ability on school days to fulfil family duties. Parents that go to work early rely on their high school kids to take their younger children to school a lot of the time. In general, it provides much more convenience for the parents no matter what the family circumstance is.

In addition to family roles, everyday at school we hear the front office announcing the multiple late buses. Sophomores that turn sixteen and get a car get to leave this behind and finally drive themselves to school, most likely with a new urge to be on time. Should we force these teenagers that finally reach the age to manage their own morning continue being held down by school rules? To get a quality education, the school should want as many students as possible to be on time to school, and preventing them from driving would not accomplish this. Instead, the school should find solutions that benefit the student and the school.

A couple weeks ago, interim principal Dr. Bockman announced that 25$ parking passes would be issued to students to be able to park at school. If enforced, this solution will provide an equal chance for all students to park, and will provide funds from the passes to help our school in internal ways. For every driving student to have an equal chance, the parking issues should be issued first come first serve. With a limited number of parking passes, the issue of limited parking would be solved, and the students that didn’t receive one have a chance the next year. To fix the issue of illegal parking on curbsides and handicap spots, parking passes will once again come in handy, and there would be no need to take away rights from underclassmen.

If parking was limited only to upperclassmen, the seniors and juniors would most likely not be pushing themselves to get to school on time. With three grade levels being able to park in only two parking lots, most sophomores, juniors, and seniors all arrive to school early to guarantee themselves a parking spot. As a junior with the driving privilege, I have only been tardy twice this school year, after I realized it is almost impossible to park after 8:25. If I knew that I would have a wide open parking lot with multiple spots waiting for me everyday, I would have no where near as much discipline to get to school early.

It only makes sense to find a solution that won’t limit students, but provide further benefits to school. Administration has always allowed all students with a license to drive to school in the past, so why create even more debate now? With all of the new changes being put into place by administration this year, we should instead use the new parking pass enforcement to solve the issue of overcrowded parking lots.



Only allow upperclassmen to drive to school

Gaby Paez

It’s no secret to Grady students that there’s a limited amount of parking reserved for the large student population that drives. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen a student park illegally in the fire lane, heard an announcement about a car needing to be moved, or seen a student frantically searching for a spot to park in, seconds before the bell rings. The number of students driving to school in on the rise and the parking situation still remains unsolved. Grady has recently imposed a new parking pass system requiring students to purchase a sticker for their car indicating that they are a Grady student, but this still will not solve the issue of parking space. I believe that parking should be reserved for upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) in order to minimize the amount of students in need of parking spots. Allowing only upperclassmen to drive to school would create more space, minimize the illegal parking, help students get to class on time, and reduce the chances of accidents occurring within the lots.

According to the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles, a provisional driver’s license holder may only drive immediate family members for the first six months of being a licensed driver. This means that any car driven by a sophomore with a newly issued license can only carry one person unless it is their sibling. With one person in every car and no room to carpool, this takes up much of the limited space that is the Grady parking lot. Upperclassmen however, have their six months and can carpool friends and siblings to school making for more available parking spots.

In addition to more space, allowing only upperclassmen to drive to school would reduce the amount of accidents that occur within and around the parking lot. Newly licensed sophomores have less experience than upperclassmen, especially when it comes to parking. This makes them more likely to get in accidents when backing in or out of spots, potentially damaging other students’ parked cars.

Not only are accidents an issue, but illegal parking poses a major problem as well. License plate numbers and car models are continuously announced on the intercom, disrupting class time, asking people to move their cars from the fire lanes and other illegal parking spots. Reducing the amount of cars in the parking lot will leave more open spaces, preventing the need for illegal parking.

Students struggle every morning to get to school early enough to find a proper parking spot. Almost every morning you are guaranteed to find at least one student who is driving around the school campus in search of a parking spot. Starting in the main lot by the stadium, making their way to the dirt lot, circling around to 8th street still with no luck, finally settling for a spot in the gravel lot inside the stadium. By the time students find a spot and make their way all the way from the stadium, through the late pass line in the cafeteria, then to class that could be on the fourth floor or even out in the trailers, they’ve already missed at least ten to fifteen minutes of critical class time. If we only allow upperclassmen to drive, we will create more space and reduce the amount of accidents and illegal parking that take place within the campus parking lots.