Ventura High School implements new parking lot rule


Lacea said, “I think [this rule] will end up lasting because we’re trying to change the culture compared to what it was last year and [in] previous years.” Photo by: Adi De Clerck

The rule states that students can’t enter the student parking lot during lunch without showing their off-campus pass

When students returned to school on Feb. 27, many were shocked to find that they could not enter the student parking lot during lunch. When campus supervisors asked students to show their off-campus passes, many realized that they had only their expired semester one pass or nothing at all. Students either walked away from the scene or huddled in front of the lot’s gates, hoping to gain answers from campus supervisors regarding this sudden change in policy.

Travis Valenzuela ‘24 said, “I think the [new rule] is pretty dumb because you’re not even leaving school so I don’t see why you need to show your off campus pass [to enter the lot].”

The contrast between the name of the off-campus pass and the parking lot rule is controversial. However, VHS Principal Marissa Rodriguez said that the student parking lot is a remote area from campus and therefore meets the criteria for it to be an off-campus pass area.

Students huddled around the front gates of the student parking lot, talking to campus supervisor Chris Lacea. Two students are pictured walking away from the lot upon not having their semester two off-campus passes. Photo by: Katie Rundle

Rodriguez said, “[Making the student parking lot an off-campus pass area] is not a new rule and aligns to other schools within our district for student parking lot access. At this time, we will continue to implement this rule to ensure the safety of all students and continue to build school culture and community within the center of our campus.”

Chris Lacea, a campus supervisor, said, “I think [the new rule] is effective to keep certain kids from going off campus as well as going to the parking lot but it also is a struggle for seniors and juniors for many reasons. They [might not] have lockers or they [might] like to hang out in their car, and there’s not many places for them to hang out on campus so I understand the students’ side of it.”

When asked what specific safety concern led to the enactment of this rule, Rodriguez stated that recent events led to the reassessment of off-campus passes and the evaluation of the best placement for campus supervisors, though Lacea said that he did not know what she had referred to. Both Rodriguez and Lacea emphasized that the rule is here to stay.