The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice


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July 17
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Parking costs students more than just a ticket

The dismal state of the parking situation creates danger and anxiety for students who drive. The school has too many students and too little spaces, and administrators’ constant cutting down of student parking doesn’t help. The school makes an absurd amount of money a year from just parking tickets. The small parking lot cannot support the entire student body at Vandegrift, and students shouldn’t have to stress about finding a spot on top of pressure from clubs and classes.

Teachers have an abundance of parking space, and some teachers still park in the student parking. At the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, the administration team turned the parking lot outside of the band hall into exclusively teacher parking. However, every morning, this lot remains at least half empty. Many band, choir, and theater students used to park in this lot daily, and regular student parking normally fills up by around 8:30 am. Students with morning off periods must either arrive at school extremely early or park at the middle school next door, which creates a dangerous and long walk from our campus.

The school sells more parking passes than available spots. According to Principal Little, the parking lot has only 950 parking spaces for our student body of about 2,730 students. Combining the amount of sophomores, juniors and seniors, 2,100 students will need parking passes by the end of this school year, leaving 1,150 students without parking daily. In the 2022-2023 school year, VHS sold approximately 1,250 student parking passes. That means the 300 students who arrive at school late have to park outside of campus, even if they purchased a parking pass.

The school makes thousands of dollars, untaxed, from parking fees and passes. Yearly, Principal Little stated that VHS makes about $5,570 from parking fines with an additional $40,640 from parking passes in the first semester alone. That adds up to approximately $46,200 a year, not including the passes sold in the second semester for sophomores. As of December of 2023, most teenagers in Texas make $15 an hour. Dividing the school’s $46,200 from parking fees and passes by a student’s average salary, that’s 3,080 hours of work from a teenager that the school makes in just a few weeks.

Parking fees pay for resources such as golf carts, batteries, tires, cones, and security costs, which make it possible to hand out parking tickets. If the school stopped issuing tickets, the need for these assets wouldn’t exist.

Instead of penalizing students for money, the school could divert funding from sports, band, prom, homecoming, concessions, or school merchandise to cover the costs of the golf carts. Alternatively, the school could use that money to invest in building more parking for students. The administration team should prioritize the safety of students, not the money they’re making from tickets.

Nobody, including teenagers, wants to fight for a parking spot at 8:00 in the morning. Administrators should give students more leeway and either create more student parking, eliminate parking tickets altogether, or stop selling more parking passes than they have spaces.

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