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Juniors risk safety parking at Wakeman

Ben Goldschlager

On an early November morning before 7:00 a.m., licensed juniors battle to beat the long line for a parking spot at Wakeman to avoid a half a mile walk in 33 degree weather.

“I get there at 7:03, and the line is at the baseball fields,” Colby Kranz ’15 said. “I think it is pointless how half of the Bedford lot is empty and we can’t use it. It’s literally a mile walk with our 300 pound backpacks. It’s not right.”

According to Richard Franzis, the Assistant Principal who managed junior parking last year, there are about 40 parking spaces for juniors. Principal John Dodig announced that parking at Bedford is prohibited, and any students found parked there will be towed and ticketed.

The administration decided that it was unsafe for students to park at Bedford since it uses its parking lot for evacuations.

Franzis also clarified that there are no special parking privileges given to the Gridiron Club, a booster club that helps support the Staples football program, and dismissed the rumor that cheerleaders are allowed parking privileges on football game days.

“We do not prioritize who we give parking stickers to as a junior. Whether they’re on the baseball team, have heavy sports equipment or have four jobs,” Franzis said, “there are no special parking privileges.  It’s an urban legend.”

As for senior parking, every senior who has his/her license is assured a parking spot. Once seniors have gotten their parking stickers, parking is open for juniors. Parking spaces are kept aside for guidance/parent coffee meetings and college meetings.

Although the junior parking lottery was held last year around Halloween, juniors still wait for the parking lottery to be held while risking the potential of dangerous driving situations.

“We are all new drivers, there are people walking along the side of the road to their cars so the drivers have to weave in and out of the walkers,” Sydney Robison ’15 said. “Some students are reckless drivers who let their friends hang on the outside of their cars while speeding down the road.”

“You do have to be careful because some kids are reckless and drive way too fast,” Alyssa Gehb ’15 agreed.

Administrators have also taken notice of the safety risks of parking at Wakeman. “We tell students, ‘Park at Wakeman at your own risk,’” Franzis said. “Is there a safety risk parking off campus? Absolutely. It’s a quarter of a mile; it’s a long walk.”

In addition, Kroll Inc. spent a few days assessing the safety risks at Wakeman as part of a larger evaluation of Staples’s security.

The deadline to sign up for the junior parking lottery is 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The list of juniors who win will be posted on the Assistant Principal’s office door Thursday morning.

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About the Contributors
Amina Abdul-Kareem
Amina Abdul-Kareem, Staff Writer
The brutal capture and murder of James Foley shook America, but it has not dissuaded journalists or budding activists from the concept of traveling to unstable countries, especially not Amina Abdul-Kareem. “Danger excites me,” she puts simply, “I think the best reporting can be done when you’re actually at the scene yourself.”  Even at the age of ten, Amina ignored danger to find out if a rumor of cannibalism around her estate in Kenya was really true.  “My uncle told us we weren’t allowed to play outside, but me being me, I snuck out and found out what was really happening for myself.” Amina, a daring and curious senior at Staples High School, was born in Dubai and moved to America when she was a year old.  Even though she had family from many different parts of the world in addition to Kenya, Amina did not always feel very connected to her ethnicity “Growing up, I kinda felt lost, I didn’t have any connection to my Somali roots.”  On the pursuit of finding herself, Amina has taken the Staples African Studies class and dedicated herself to fully appreciating her culture. In an effort to do exactly that, next summer, Amina and her cousin will be traveling around the Horn of Africa to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to fully immerse themselves in their African backgrounds.  “We’re both in the middle of an identity crisis,” she says of her and her cousin, “that’s what we call it.” Amina may be in the middle of a cultural “crisis”, but she is very confident in her future career path.  “I want to pursue a job in the medical field so I can go back to Somalia and help the people who are suffering from famine and poverty.”  A very laudable ambition; Amina is set on getting her medical degree in nursing after graduating from Staples in 2015. Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world, but Amina’s passion for helping others is stronger than the fear of risking her life.  The real threat of being kidnapped in unstable third world countries does not cause Amina to falter, even considering the circumstances of Tom Foley’s demise.  As Veronica Roth might say, fear doesn’t shut Amina down; it wakes her up.
Ben Goldschlager
Ben Goldschlager, Web News Editor

Ben Goldschlager ’14 is an involved member of the Staples and Westport communities. He’s the president of the Model UN and Artists’ Club, the web news editor for Inklings and is involved in Debate Team, Junior States of America and Young Democrats.

Goldschlager has also spent time volunteering at the library working with the new 3D printers. He gets to train people from the ages of 7 to 60 on how to use them, and he can print things for fun and for practical reasons.

“We have a bookcase at my house that uses these little plastic pins to support the shelves,” Goldschlager said, “but we’d lost two, so I designed and printed two replacement pins and they work.”

After writing his favorite piece, “5 Ways to Seem Like You Get Pop Culture” last year, Goldschlager is excited to come back for a second year of reporting for Inklings.

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