Article by Anthony Flores and Mason Gaspar
A majority of students agree that it feels great to finally have in-person school, but with Santa Rosa High being at full capacity again (with roughly 1,900 students in attendance) it has become extremely crowded. Students are still trying to social distance themselves from each other, while at the same time trying to talk with their friends and have a good time.
It’s already difficult to find space as is, but what will happen when the rainy season begins? Surely there will not be enough room in the DeSoto Hall or the main building to keep dry while eating lunch. There are just too many students and nowhere to put them! SRHS does not have a cafeteria to go into and teachers don’t want a large number of students in their classrooms during break, as many teachers like to take off their masks and do not want to risk getting contaminated by students.
Currently, we have students that hangout at the basketball courts, the grass field, the steps of DeSoto or the stage area and in front of the gym (alongside many other spots). These places are all in the open and have no cover from rain. There needs to be a way for students to safely eat and socialize during lunch and break. If we don’t figure out a solution before it rains, there is going to be a massive problem.
One thing students have been doing is going to their cars in order to eat, get their textbooks, personal belongings from the privacy and comfort of their car. However, students are no longer being allowed to go to their cars unless they have a free period. If students were allowed to go to their cars they could eat freely, feel safe and there would be more space for the rest of the students during break and lunch.
Another reason students prefer being able to go to their cars is so that they can store their textbooks and other belongings instead of getting a locker and being crowded by other people. Students feel safer doing this since they don’t have to share their lockers and don’t have to be cramped as other students pass by the hallways. Senior Olivia House says, “I need to get my personal belongings from my car. There’s this man that interrogates me everyday as to why I need to go to my car. It’s upsetting that I have to deal with this. The reason being is that there is a group of students that has made it to where other students aren’t able to freely go to their car. Administration needs to change the way they’re going about handling it.” The “man” House is referring to is the vice principal; Andrew Liberman.
According to Lieberman and the administration team, the reason the parking areas are restricted is an attempt to keep students safe and make them easier to handle. “If anyone were to be in the parking areas and an emergency were to happen then reaching them in a quick manner may be impacted.” The school acknowledges that letting students go to their cars and hangout during break and lunch would allow for people to easily vape and use illegal substances without getting caught. Lieberman also mentioned that during the rainy season students usually hang out under roofed areas, building hallways and sometimes teachers open up their classrooms.
Although the administration does bring up good points I do believe that their current plan may not be perfect, as mentioned before teachers may be hesitant to open classrooms while they’re eating. The buildings and roofed areas may easily become crowded and won’t be ideally safe. I believe that we may need an alternate solution and the parking lot might just be the answer.