Waiting on the bell


The long lines of traffic linger in the parking lot a half hour after the bell.

Trevor Wall

More traffic after school, people filling the hallways before the dismissal bell and hectic parking lots full of new student drivers have been normalized. Last month, an email was sent to teachers regarding students leaving before the bell at 4:10, asking teachers to not let students leave before the bell, and to only release them when it had rung due to the excessive number of students in the hallways and students leaving early.

Students should be able to leave before the bell within reason and when it does not interfere with their classwork, as they have responsibilities outside of school that require them to be on time. 

Due to the strictness of not being able to leave early, traffic has gotten worse. Students still attempt to scramble out of the school before cars fill up the lanes, but only contribute to the long lines in the parking lot. The students are also competing to leave with the parents picking up their kids, as the lines form in the same parking lot, and there is no other way to leave the campus unless they are interested in offroading. If students could leave even a few minutes earlier, it would help to flush out the immense amount of traffic.

Students were already cutting it close to their jobs and other extracurriculars by leaving a bit early, but being forced to leave by the bell has added stress to student’s schedules. Students with jobs, extracurriculars, or even home life that require their immediate attention are usually the first to rush out of the doors and to their cars, and recklessly drive their ways out of the school. Students are barely making it to their out of school obligations, and struggle to adjust to the schedule. If any students should leave before the bell, it should be the ones that have somewhere to be other than the parking lot for an hour. 

The strictness on leaving early will only lead to more chaos in the parking lot, which is concerning with the number of new student drivers. Students are rushing out of the parking lot, and have to avoid running over other students running out to their cars and slow down just enough to not have their cars totalled by the speed bumps. New student drivers have more pressure than ever to be careful in the parking lot, especially if they have an obligation to fulfill at a job or home. The strictness of only being allowed to leave at 4:10 is forcing students to be reckless in the parking lot. 

Students leaving at 4:10 can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes just to get out of the parking lot, where students leaving just five minutes earlier are out of the parking lot in a minute. 

There should be leniency to students who have other engagements, but cannot fulfill them unless they leave the school just a bit earlier. Students should be allowed to leave the school, at most, 10 minutes early in the case of having something after school, and if their teachers allow it.