Parking Passes and the Mystery Behind Them

It’s 7:45 and the morning bell chimes to signal the start of the day. Students rush to their classes, barely making it to their seats in time. Vice Principal Jeff Carovillano voice echoes through the hallway with the daily pledge, sports announcements,and finishes with warning everyone to buy a parking pass.  “Make sure you all buy a $50 parking pass, and register your vehicle with the school this year, or you will face a 5 dollar fine every time we check the parking lot”, he advises. Students roll their eyes, reluctant to buy a pass.

Parking passes have always been a controversial topic in Ipswich High School. A majority of the students think it is a waste of money to buy them, so they don’t even bother.  The only reason most students buy them is because they don’t want to get fined for parking without one,  or their parents force them to buy them. Students and faculty have a lot of different opinions regarding this topic.

Many students are automatically opposed to the idea of parking passes. When speaking to senior Stephanie Veerman, she said she “hasn’t paid for a parking pass this year,” quickly adding that she “has the money, but just hasn’t had the time to register yet”. Another point Stephanie made was that she “wants to buy a parking pass, but since they don’t check that often, I don’t see the rush”. Later, when asking Stephanie if she thinks the idea of parking passes was fair she paused for a second, and then answered by saying “that there are a good amount of parking spots, and it’s not like it’s limited. Also, I have to drive to school each day from Haverhill, which is a good thirty minutes away so I have to pay for gas to get to school on top of a parking pass”. This is also something to take into consideration when it comes to being against parking passes. Kids have to pay for their own gas, insurance, clothes, and other day to day necessities. Most students just don’t have the extra fifty dollars to put towards being able to drive their car to school.

When asking faculty about this topic, they had a different area of concern.  English teacher Mrs. Kane stated that she had a parking pass, and understood why the School Committee decided to issue them, but thinks it would be useful to know “what the schools use for the money is”. This is a very valid question that none of the teachers we spoke to seemed to know the answer to.  Later on that day, we stopped Mr. Carovillano in the hall on a brisk walk to the cafe where we posed him with this question. His answer was vague , saying “the money goes towards maintenance of the grounds and parking lots and such..”, before walking to the cafe.

All in all, the parking pass debate will continue on. Some people will stand on the pro-pass, while others will argue against it. The main consensus we have come to from conducting these interviews is that parking pass are unpopular in students, teachers have no idea where the money is going, and the administration stands with their ruling.