South students were hit with an unexpected surprise last week, when a surge in the issuance of parking tickets led to shock and frustration for many. It is becoming increasingly difficult to finesse the school for free parking with each passing day, and it is safe to say that our automobile-owning students are living in a period of difficulty. To shed some light on this alarming situation, we sat down with Officer Dan Klein, School Resource Officer, and one of the enforcers of this renewed, district-wide regulation.
We paraphrased his responses.
Why is this an issue now compared to first semester?
First semester, we didn’t do much parking enforcement because the lot was not properly posted. For the police to issue citations, the lot had to be properly posted. Because school property is not a public street, the School District has the right to control who can park. I was not going to write anything until the lot was posted, and it was posted a few weeks before second semester. However, we didn't want students to have to pay the hundred dollar semester parking fee for just a couple weeks.
How come students were not notified of this stricter policy beforehand?
We had not been enforcing it for a long time.
Officer Dan stressed that the school repeatedly sent out reminders that the parking rules were going to be enforced in the new semester. He indicated the school had sent out many announcements and emails to both students and parents, and that students should have been attentive to these warnings.
Why do they make students pay and not teachers, seeing that both have to be at school?
It was a decision made by the Waukesha School District. I honestly don't know where the money goes, besides the fact that it goes to the district.
How often do you write tickets?
We have parking agents from the City of Waukesha who will come and check 5 to 10 more times this semester. They don't have a set schedule or set time. They typically go to check when the Waukesha high schools come in rotation.
Will this enforcement continue into next year and future school years?
I can only imagine so.
How much is the ticket?
The parking ticket is 20 dollars, handicap is significantly more. Parking in front of a fire hydrant, bus stop, or private property is 35 dollars.
Where do you check?
I first check the staff parking, the two lots. Students who parked in places where there are no parking spots received tickets. Then, I checked for those who had permits and those who didn't or ones who had expired permits.