Parking Passes: Is it a Scam?


Laura Levesque and Lindsay Crumley, Journalists

In high school, getting your license is a right of passage. It’s something that gives students freedom and power. Between testing fees, purchasing a car, getting gas, paying for insurance, and having to pay to park at school, having a license can be expensive. Here at Ipswich High School, all students who drive to school have to pay $50 to park. Are we being scammed into paying more than we bargained for? Most students think the fee is excessive and some are wondering where the money goes. There have been many rumors about where money is going, but no one knows for sure. In order to cover all aspects of the argument, we spoke to school administrators, students and public officials to get the facts.

We decided to talk to the people that matter the most, our students that park at school everyday. Senior Rayna Duffield, believes buying a parking pass is necessary, stating, “The school says we have to.” Duffield felt that she had no choice but to pay the fee. Did the students know where their money was going? Rayna believes the money was going back into helping her education, commenting, “I think the money goes to paying for supplies for our school.” To get another perspective, we talked to senior, Adriana Jimenez. Jimenez has been parking at school for almost two years now and has never purchased a pass. When we asked why she never bought a pass, she said, “It’s too expensive and overall unnecessary. There really shouldn’t be a fee at all because there is not a lack of parking spaces and they are not even assigned.” Just like Rayna, we asked Adriana where she thought the money went. She responded, “The money is probably going towards something sketchy. My guess would be the garden in the middle of the street.”

Whenever the parking pass debate comes up, the same excuse is presented. The money was assumed to go to parking lot maintenance. David Levesque, a loyal town employee for over 25 years, had a lot to say. Levesque was frustrated students were forced to pay to park, saying, “My tax dollars paid to build the school, the parking lot, and to upkeep the parking lot. Why should I have to pay for it again? That’s double taxation in my book.” Levesque also spoke on where the money goes, “Honestly, I don’t know. They could be using the money for anything and we will never know.”  Taxpayers pay for the upkeep of the parking lot, not the school. So, where does the money go? In order to find out, we went to someone that knew this school inside and out.

Mr. Carovillano, assistant principal, was just as confused as we were on this topic. We put it simply: “Why do students have to pay to park at school?” He mentioned that he believes the money goes towards, “maintaining the parking lot”. He continued to explain that all decisions regarding the parking pass issue were made before he came to Ipswich. Carovillano also didn’t believe the fee was completely fair and overpriced, “I’m not a huge fan of the parking fee.”  A common comment among students is that the cars aren’t even checked for passes. Carovillano put an end to those rumors, “Myself and Officer Perna [check for passes], if we hear there’s a lot of cars out there without passes, we go and check.”

We heard from student drivers, town employees, and our assistant principal, who gave us a variety of opinions and theories. The general consensus was that the money goes towards maintaining the parking lot and helping our school in general. Whether or not this is true, it’s unclear and we may never truly find out. So, no matter if you have a parking pass or not, always make sure you know what you are paying for and where it truly goes.