Moving toward a closed campus?
Yuba City High School is located very close to the center of the town. It is bordered by Franklin Street and Clark Avenue, some of the busiest streets in Yuba City. Between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning and 3:05 and 3:30 in the afternoon, the traffic around our school is nothing less than overcrowded and congested.
"It is horrible because parents do not use the parent drop-off and use the parking lots as an alternative access point to drop their kids off," said Natalie Page, a teacher at YCHS.
Page said when parents use the school's parking lots to drop off their children, staff and students are often unable to park and get to their classrooms or lockers.
The traffic around YCHS is so congested that it is causing students who drive to be late to class even when they leave their homes at a reasonable time.
"I show up to school late because of the traffic on Clark Avenue, and by the time I get to the campus, the school gates to the parking lots are closed off," said senior Keenan Lewis.
Jimmy Mann, another senior, said parents should use the designated drop-off spots because otherwise it causes a headache for the students who drive themselves to school.
In a move to make the school safer, the YCHS administration has decided to close off certain access points to the campus to prevent intruders or random non-school related people from accessing the school.
However, with the way our campus is designed, closing off gates and doorway entrances causes more overcrowding when students are trying to move to their next class or to their lockers.
Senior Ju Seo said her parents drop her off at an area in the morning where all of the closest gates are now closed. "I have to basically walk all the way around campus just to get to my first period on time," she said.
Students walk out of their way and sometimes all around campus, just to get to their destination.
Some students, however, are not completely opposed to these changes. "To an extent, it is OK and acceptable — like during school hours — but before, after and during lunch, everything should be opened because then it won't be super crowded," said senior Taylor Elkins.
It is especially difficult for students during lunch because, as an open campus, a majority of students want to leave campus to go eat. But when certain gates are closed, students crowd around at the other open gates, which makes things go slower and wastes away the time for their lunch break.
These new precautions are for our safety, but are they also a start in the process of turning our open campus to a closed one? Are these current changes allusions to future changes in the structure and design of the Yuba City High School campus?
Julia Lancaster is a senior at Yuba City High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.