MHS Administration Closes Parking Lots During School Hours

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Campus Supervisor Susie Frederich dissuades students from entering the J-Lot on Nov. 18. This week the administration began reinforcing a Student Handbook prohibition on parking lot usage.

Eric Ting, Editor-in-Chief

Much to the dismay of students, the administration decided to make school parking lots off limits to students during school hours. “This is not at all related to the incident last week,” Principal Julie Parks stated, referring to a drug arrest of a senior last Thursday. “This is about student safety, and making sure students do not have items on campus they should not have.”

Contrary to what most students believe, this rule is not actually new, since it is included in the Student Handbook portion of the school agenda distributed in September under Parking Lot Access. The school’s official policy reads: “Students are not allowed to use cars in place of lockers as parking lots are off limits during the school day.”

Associate Principal Zach Pinkerton commented on what prompted the administration to enforce the rule. “We have a new campus supervisor, who asked why students are going to their cars. This question prompted some reflection, where we decided the law needed to be enforced. This is not a change in policy, but a change in enforcement. We made this change for two reasons: school security and people taking time away from class. Acalanes and Las Lomas comply with this rule, so this policy is not outside of the district norm.” The new campus supervisor, Susie Frederich, replaced Mike Graminksi as campus supervisor in late October for an undisclosed period of time. Frederich declined to comment on the matter.

Pinkerton also mentioned that three students replied to the School Loop email he sent on Tuesday, asking why the parking lot is now closed. After being denied access to the parking lot during Wednesday’s lunch period by Frederich, junior Max Fleming stated: “This rule is absurd, I don’t want to carry my lunch around all day, it’s an unnecessary inconvenience.” Pinkerton conceded that there have not been any documented incidents in the parking lot during school hours, nor have there been any teacher complaints about students arriving late to class.

However, the administration is leaving the door open for a potential re-opening of parking lots in the near future. “If people are willing to present other ideas and create dialogue then we are open to that,” Pinkerton said. “But we assumed the parking lot was already closed up until this point.”