By: Emmett Schindler
At North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, students rush to school to get a parking spot each morning. However, many of them fail to purchase a parking pass at the beginning of the semester, but still drive their car to school, rarely getting caught. But when they do get caught, the ticket proves to be an easier fee than the actual pass.
Like many high schools around the country, North Cobb requires students to buy a parking pass for $50 a semester in order to have access to the parking lot. Many students complain about this, claiming the pass costs way too much. The rest of the students take an easier path by not buying a pass and hoping to not get caught. Lucky for them, North Cobb rarely checks the parking lot for passes on cars and even when they do check, the consequential ticket ranges from $10-$20, significantly lower than the actual pass.
“Over the past four semesters, it would’ve cost me $200 to park with a pass,” Andrew Lubbers, a recently graduated student at North Cobb, said. “Since I didn’t get one, and received two parking tickets, I paid a total of $30 for four semesters of parking. So it saved me a lot of money and made more financial sense than paying $50 each semester.”
The problems with North Cobb parking lots continue when they decided to not assign parking spots and instead allow a “first come first serve” system for the spots. This infuriated the seniors, as they are known to receive the closest spots to the school, because they now risk getting a further spot if they arrive to school later than others. But, instead of seniors taking the spots further away, some decided to park in places that are not actual spots. Not surprisingly, North Cobb failed to realize this, so they faced no consequences. Recently graduated student Adam Kovel reflects on the problem.
“If they would have ticketed from day one and consistently, the problem would stop because multiple tickets result in a higher penalty cost and they’d nip it in the bud for the entire year,” Kovel said.
Other schools in the Cobb County district resemble the North Cobb parking fiasco. Cobb County requires a $50 parking pass, but gives schools the freedom to choose the ticket prices. Allatoona High School explicitly say their ticket situation on their website, at cobbk12.org, giving a $10 ticket and adding $1 every day the student fails to pay it.
These standards for parking are not effective as many students do not buy the passes and end up paying less for the ticket, if the staff actually checks for them. Until ticket prices rise or the parking lots are monitored more effectively, parking passes prove to be an ill-advised purchase.