Parents and Parking

Ashlesha Mishra, Copy Editor

As schooling resumes in-person, Issaquah High School has seen a major issue in the first two months of school: parking. Several juniors and seniors drive to and from school every day and take upon the responsibility to make it to class on time. The administrative team has created a process through which students are assigned a parking lot within the first few days of school, priority given to carpool drivers and upperclassmen. Despite the well-organized system of allotment, this year, drivers have a big concern.

The mornings and afternoons are usually crowded due to several students coming and going at the same time. Traffic is pretty slow and drivers need to be patient; however, their troubles only increase when parents start to drop off their children in the student parking lots. Junior Isabella Mitchell states, “I think it is frustrating because we need those spots for school and I understand the dislike for sitting in traffic, but it would massively help stress levels of some people who park in that lot in the morning if [parents] did not park there. It is a student lot for a reason. There are other spaces for parents. It’s all bad with traffic, but keeping the two groups separate eases it up because the two different groups have different purposes-waiting and picking someone up vs getting out of there.” Mitchell emphasizes how crucial it is for parents to know where to go to drop their kids off and how to stay out of the students’ way.

Students like junior Kolby Benson, who has to “get to [his] car fast so [he] can get home and let [his] sister use the car for work,” have strong reasons to leave school quickly and on time. However, he states that “one problem is the parents who drop and pick up their kids in the main lot. I think parents use the main lot because they think that their time is more valuable than other people.” Senior Surya Bollapragada completely agrees with this thought, stating, “I think [parents] keep making the mistake [of parking in student lots] because they do not understand the agitation it causes to us, students, just trying to get to school. These parents are in a rush to drop their kids off and leave as soon as possible, but disregard how the drivers in the main lot still have to find parking and get to school. They should just get their kid to ride the bus or carpool if they are in a rush, not cut corners and cheat the system to get in and out fast. Every parent is in a rush to leave; it is not just you. It is a choice you are making to drop your child off, just like I choose to drive, and with that comes sacrifices.” While students do understand that parents are only trying to drop their students off, they do not approve of them coming into the area that is specifically for student use instead of their designated carpool drop-off lane.

Student drivers are also confused about why this keeps happening as the administrative team has addressed this issue several times through the weekly E-news reports and specified emails regarding parking safety. A popular student account on Instagram, @ihsbadparking, addresses poor parking by students and the big issue of the parents in the lots. The admin of this account states, “There are rules in place for a reason and the school has asked several times for [parents] to stop [using the main lot].” This is a problem because it has been happening repeatedly since the start of school and has been a hindrance in the students’ learning who have been late because of this. Junior Siena Kinsley states, “When I am caught in the traffic in between everyone else, it becomes really frustrating because everyone is sitting in the middle so I cannot actually access the lot and I am sometimes late despite me being there with lots of time to spare.” Benson adds to this, “I leave quite early, but if I leave even five minutes later, traffic is not good.” Students have taken precautions so they make it to school on time, but if they are running even a little bit late due to some circumstances, they have to take a tardy or late on their attendance record.

How can the students at IHS help solve this situation? Mitchell states that if she were to see a parent in the lot, she would probably say, “I would really appreciate it if you could not park in designated student sections in order to ease the flow of traffic into and out of school allowing most students to get to class on time. Parking in a student’s spot causes them to be late, damaging their educational gains in the first period.” Bollapragada adds, “Talk to your underclassmen friends and people [you know] whose parents drop them in the main lot, and respectfully tell them to stop! When I see parents in the main lot in the morning, I complain about them super loudly so they can hear me and hopefully catch the memo that most students don’t want them there.”

The administrative team has officially announced that “if you arrive prior to 7:45 am, you may not park in a student parking spot as this adds to unsafe congestion.” Parents are, by IHS parking rules, required to use the drop-off lane and are banned from the student lots. However, there are still plenty of parents who disregard these announcements and continue to enter and exit the wrong way. Students are encouraged to point this out to the parents and correct them to prevent future traffic blockages and help students receive priority to reach where they need to. Parents must understand to do what is best in the students’ interest and wait longer in the drop-off lane if they need to, as it is a part of the responsibility that comes with dropping your child off.