Journalism Next at Lakewood Ranch High School: The LRHS parking privilege comes at a high price.

Special to the HeraldDecember 10, 2012 

Lakewood Ranch High School has made paying for parking a bigger deal than it should be. Stopping traffic, pulling people over, and disciplining students for not paying is uncalled for. Students should not have to pay for parking in a public lot.

For students who wonder where is the money is going, Assistant Principal Mike Mullins is quick with an answer.

"The money goes toward the parking fund," he said. "The parking fund helps pay for security gates for the school, to keep it safe."

Parking has become a bigger deal because the world is an uncertain place.

The administration has to monitor who is coming in and out of the parking lot every day. If school officials see any unusual vehicles, they can deal with the situation promptly and effectively.

If there are drug dogs on campus, the sheriff can monitor for narcotics and in which vehicle.

Students who were late for school are being excused if they got pulled over for not having a pass. They were put on a list and were called into the front office.

"If students would just pay for their parking pass we wouldn't have to stand out their in the morning and stop students who do not have one," Discipline's Brenda Browning said.

Driving at LRHS is a privilege and whether students agree with the rules, they still have to follow them. The privilege to park can be taken away just as fast as it was given.

Some seniors like Lindsey Gustafson think the $30 fee is too steep.

"If the price was around $15, I would pay," she said. "But $30 is a lot of money that my family doesn't have."

Students and staff need to come up with an agreement to make both students and administration happy. They need to compromise.

Students and staff would be a lot happier if they would just lower the prices.

"Hopefully students will understand why we are making them pay. The money goes to the safety of our children," Principal Linda Nesselauf said.

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