The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

LHS parking in south lot needs better access to the building all day

Lack of student card readers counteracts calls for less lateness and higher security
Students+often+struggle+to+get+into+the+building+on+time.+%0AIllustration+by+Neva+Livingston.
Neva Livingston
Students often struggle to get into the building on time. Illustration by Neva Livingston.

I was one block into the two-block walk to the front of the building when I slipped on the ice-covered sidewalk along Louisiana.

With no first hour, I have no shot at a spot in the front parking lot and no chance at entering the doors near the larger parking lots on the south side of LHS. Those doors lock during first hour and aren’t accessible again until lunchtime.

The temptation to ask a friend to open a door is real.

Yet that’s exactly what we’re not supposed to do. And I get it.

I was in first grade when the letter came home that we would start practicing lockdown drills in class. I was at Hillcrest Elementary School, far away from Newtown, Conn., when I learned of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

I had the conversation with my parents that while I was learning about fractions and how to read those big scary words like security, the first graders in Newtown were forever 6 and 7 years old. They didn’t know it, but they had a permanent impact on public school children across the country.

So I get why we don’t want to prop doors, why we don’t want to let “just anybody” in. But we must make it possible for students to get to class without breaking these rules and without risking our safety. Because the current systems are not working.

No matter how strict administrators think they are, no matter how vigilant they think they can be, for generations students have proved teenagers are sneakier than adults can be vigilant.

We have almost 610 student parking spots and nearly 615 student drivers, using poll information and disregarding parking pass numbers, as do the majority of student drivers to LHS. As the main lot fills by the beginning of second hour, late start students have no choice but to find a different spot, whether that be the back-lot, the annex lot, Veterans Park — which now threatens to tow — or teacher parking.

If a student parks in the annex parking lot, they will have to walk around the building to get to class. This means walking more than a third of a mile to the front door. From there, they might find themselves walking all that way back to their class in the former annex. This in no way aligns with the push by administrators to have kids in class earlier.

After the lockdown on Nov. 6, students and staff received an email from Principal Quintin Rials reminding us to “keep all outside doors locked. Do not prop open any doors, or let any students or adults in a door. If a student or adult needs to enter LHS after school starts they will need to enter through the front office.”

It’s just another reminder of the inaccessibility of our building. Students were told that if we see anyone opening a door, we should call the office and report it, and that the student opening secure doors would face consequences.

Students regularly have to come to school at different time during the day. Some have no first hour while others are returning from the College and Career Center or appointments. They need a way to get to class without walking so far through the cold, rain or whatever else Kansas weather subjects us to. And despite threats of discipline, many students won’t.

Up until this school year, we have had student ID cards that let us into the building. Without access to the card readers, it’s more common to see people opening outside doors. While the district wrote off chipped student IDs as a security risk, taking them away has actually proved a detriment to student safety.

District administrators and district officials hope that by locking doors through the 10-minute passing period between first and second period will aid student safety. In reality this decision is only hindering punctuality, attendance and overall security of the building

If administrators are going to preach to students about being present and on time, the district needs to invest in methods to create better accessibility to our building.

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About the Contributors
Maeslyn Hamlin, Red and Black Co-Editor in Chief

I'm a third year editor of the Red and Black and this year I'm an editor in chief. When I'm not working on the newspaper I'm usually at work. I work two jobs, play lots of music, and I've pole vaulted in track for three years.

Neva Livingston, Reporter
I'm a senior and second year writer/reporter on the journalism staff. I play for the girls tennis team, and participate in the studio/portfolio class here at LHS.

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