Stay Off Our Tail(pipes)

Stay Off Our Tail(pipes)

By Maddie Asch

Mentioning the lack of parking in the Back Parking Lot (BPL) at Tam is sure to spark heated conversation. And if seniors hear that a junior is parking in the BPL, watch out, you’ve got yourself a fire.

Yes, I get that it is a tradition that seniors park in the BPL. It’s a school rule; a right of passage gained with time. Seniors feel they have waited their turn, and it’s their right. As a junior at Tam who acknowledges that the BPL doesn’t even have enough parking for the senior class, I agree that seniors should be the only ones parking in the BPL. What I don’t agree with is how seniors take it upon themselves to deal with the sophomores and juniors who park there.

For any non-senior who parks in the BPL, food on your windshield or trashcans blocking your car could be what awaits your return at the end of the school day. However, these acts aren’t a surefire way to stop juniors from parking in the BPL. For seniors who simply want a place to park in the morning like they have been promised for three years, there are real solutions to the problem.

Since non-seniors are breaking the rule by parking in the BPL, the best solution for seniors would be to report the wrongly-parked car or its owner to the administration. Assistant Principal Leah Herrera said, “We go to the [reported] student’s class and we pull them out…and make them move [their car].”

If the non-senior continues to park in the BPL, administration will get parents involved. There it is: a simple, non-hateful solution to seniors’ problems that will actually have the desired effect of giving them more parking space. So why aren’t students using it?

Whether seniors are unaware of the option or just don’t care, their actions in the BPL can only have the effect of publicly humiliating the rule-breaking junior or sophomore. Even though that student should not park there and seniors have every right to be angry, they are still being, simply put, mean, and breaking the law.

I often hear seniors say that a non-senior was “asking for it” by parking in the BPL because they already knew their car would be messed with if they did. When did treating someone badly become okay if that person expects the bad treatment?   

I wholeheartedly agree that non-seniors who park in the BPL, knowing they shouldn’t be doing so, are very annoying. However, just because a non-senior is aware of the possible consequences to their car, doesn’t give seniors a valid excuse to then mess with that car as they please.  And the senior class as a whole shouldn’t support that senior’s actions any more than they do the actions of the badly parked student because all students in this situation are acting insensitively, and all are breaking school rules.

Earlier this year two senior boys found a car parked in the BPL belonging to a junior girl. They dumped garbage all over her car, stuck a broom in the exhaust pipe, threw a mat on the hood, and blocked the car in with shopping carts. The seniors received a suspension for their actions.

Whether this punishment is fair or not, people cannot blame the junior for the seniors’ suspensions, as she did not force them to mess with her car. They chose to mess with her car. Nobody else is at fault for their actions. As seniors about to graduate, they need to take responsibility for their own actions, which includes accepting any punishment they receive for doing something they knew was punishable.

Now, if they had just acted morally and reported the license plate number and car description to the administration in the first place, then they could have avoided all consequences. The junior who absolutely should not have parked in the BPL would be the one getting in trouble, as she deserves, and they wouldn’t have had to deal with any punishment.

Should a junior park in the BPL, break school rules, and ignore a valued Tam tradition? No. Should a senior mess with a junior’s car, break school rules, and excuse their actions because of that same tradition? Definitely not.