Highland Rambler

The student news site of Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah

Highland Rambler

Highland Rambler

Parking, Vaping In The Admin’s Crosshairs

Hannah Pace

Highland students are getting the boot. Or at least, those who park illegally.

After a plethora of complaints, Highland’s parking lot has seen significant changes this year. And not only is Highland’s parking lot being patrolled, but bathrooms are no longer a safe haven for vapers.

The new school year brings new policies and visions, from overhauling the parking lot to cracking down on vaping.

For many students, the main concern is parking.

Highland traditionally sells many more parking passes than it has actual parking spaces. Jeremy Chatterton, Highland’s principal, stated that Highland has around 270 student parking spaces and typically sells around 400 parking passes. To ease the issue a little, sophomores and freshmen will no longer be allowed to purchase parking passes. Highland is also looking at adding a handful of additional parking spaces on the driver education range.

“Obviously, one of the biggest complaints we’ve got regarding parking lot has been spots. We have way more people that want to park there [the Highland parking lot] than we have spots.”  Chatterton said.

To combat this shortage of parking spaces, the parking lot will be reserved for upperclassmen. In addition, Highland will now start cracking down on students parking without a parking pass.

“I was hearing a lot of frustration from a lot of students that had purchased parking passes in the last year was that other people were parking a lot but didn’t have passes,” Chatterton said. “And there wasn’t really anything we could do about it because we didn’t know who the cars belonged to. So, there was a gap. There just was a problem. So, we’ve decided that to prevent that, we will immobilize those cars using a boot. So those students would be required to come in and purchase a permit.”

In addition, any students caught without a parking pass will be forced to pay a fine to remove the boot. The administration hopes that this will help either make the parking lot a little less chaotic or push more students to purchase parking passes.

“No matter how we do it, there’s always going to be a certain amount of kids that just don’t have a parking pass and don’t get into the parking lot and are going to end up needing to park in the neighborhood streets,” Highland senior Effie Moore said. “So that’s just a matter of whether or not that’s going to be the old sophomores or just some random juniors and seniors.”

Highland is considering adding parking spots by the drivers’ education range with the agreement that any students parked there would have to be gone by 3:30 p.m.

Highland is also now making the front row by the main entrances guest parking in order to increase the number of guest parking lots available in order to boost Highland’s image to outside guests.

In addition to overhauling the parking lot, Highland has installed vape detectors in the bathrooms in order to combat the vaping epidemic among teenagers.

A constant part of any bathroom trip is people vaping in the bathroom. Highland has installed vape detectors in all the bathrooms in order to prevent this from happening.

And so far, they have done their job, according to Chatterton.

“From where we were the first couple of days of school to where we are now, with vape detectors going off, it has decreased tremendously,” Chatterton said.

Once a vape detector goes off, the administration springs into action.

“As soon as a vape detector goes off…there’s message that goes to our district server. It messages me and other administrators and secretaries on we don’t know what happened,” Chatterton said. “Our computers and so we get a message on teams, ‘vape detector gone off.’ And it will tell us if it’s vape; if it’s THC; it also gives a mode for aggression, so they’re super loud voice in the bathroom, that will set it off, or if someone’s trying to tamper with the device that will come back and say ‘vape detected, THC detected. Tampered, right? Something was trying to tamper this or aggravation or something like that.”

It’s not uncommon to find plenty of people skipping class in the bathrooms. However, that will become harder to do now that the vape detectors are in place because once one goes off, all students in that bathroom are brought down to the office, meaning that people without hall passes will also be caught skipping.

“So as soon as that goes off, we will radio browse or radio someone else if it’s like on the second floor or wherever it might be or security team. Typically, what will happen is people in our offices will jump on cameras. We have our cameras open all day. We’ll jump on the cameras and immediately look for where that was located, it will tell us which restroom it happened at,” Chatterton said. “We’ll go to the camera that’s outside that restroom. Start finding people going in and out of that restroom, radio for our security team, and they will bring those students down into the office.”

Visions are always shaky at first. Nothing works perfectly immediately; it will probably take a few months to iron out all the kinks with all the new policies. But once they are running smoothly, Highland will be a better, nicer place.

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