This past summer, Oceanside High School underwent revisions by repaving the student and faculty parking lots. Although the maintenance may seem routine, modifications to the student lots have caused outcry from the OHS student body. With the addition of several handicap spots to the “First Lot”, or the parking lot closest to the school and available to students, and the transformation of the “Third Lot” to faculty-only, the availability of student parking has taken a serious hit for the 2017-2018 school year.
OHS simply does not provide adequate parking for its licensed students. With almost 500 students enrolled in the twelfth grade, a large population of the student body drives to school every day, and parking is relatively non-existent. Side streets such as Ralph Avenue, Benjamin Road, and Ellen Terry Drive are packed with student cars, and not only is it an inconvenience for students to walk upwards of ten minutes to class, but many residents of these streets become frustrated with the heavy student traffic surrounding their homes. Some purposefully park on the curb outside of their house rather than their own driveway just to prevent a student from getting a spot.
It is understandable that the school had to add more handicap spots and offer more parking to faculty. But, what is not understood by school administrators is that students are at a disadvantage during the entire school day when it is such a struggle to park. To get a First Lot spot in the morning, students will arrive at school over an hour early. Those who do not have the ability to wake up hours before school starts usually park on side streets such as Ellen Terry, which can be a ten minute walk. Students are often late and penalized even though they did arrive early, just not early enough to get a spot within decent proximity to the school.
This issue deserves attention. Although the school may have limited space available, was it necessary to provide even more parking to faculty? Senior Priscilla Ambrosecchia told the Sider Press her experience trying to find parking after going out on an off period: “My friends and I passed the Third Lot this past Tuesday during our off period and saw multiple empty spots. This was frustrating because we had to park about five blocks away from the school since all the student lots were packed and it was hard to get to class on time.” This lead to students questioning if faculty actually needs the Third Lot, after seeing how it is not even at capacity during the middle of the day.
Students have the same responsibility to be at school on time as teachers, and for many upperclassmen, driving is their only way to get here. Parents work, and OHS only provides transportation by bus to the ninth grade. This leaves many juniors and seniors with limited options. Obviously, space is limited surrounding the school. Nonetheless, administrators should take another look at the issue and see if any assistance, whether that be additional parking or school-provided transportation, could be given to benefit students and make their school day slightly less stressful.