New system for staff parking

A sticker system is used to mark vehicles not allowed in staff parking lots


Arden Rathkopf

In staff-only parking lots, students who park their cars are given a green-sticker warning.

Hugo Heim Romero, Staff Reporter

A problem has been perpetuated in the school parking lot; students are parking in the staff parking spots. A newly implemented system may allow for more parking for staff while preventing punishment for students.

Heading this new system is the newly employed security specialist Dwayne Mattis. “You get three warnings, and then you have a parent conference[…],and then after that Lincoln Towing is involved,” Mattis said.

Stickers are put up on cars as a warning before a conference or towing, and these stickers are incredibly hard to remove.

“You pretty much need a razor blade and some water [to remove the sticker],” Mattis said. “Once you put the elbow grease to the window and see exactly how hard it is to come off, you won’t want to park there again.”

To differentiate between students and staff members, decals have been given to staff to put on their cars.

“We don’t have a way to figure out whose car is whose without the decal […] that says Ballard Staff,” Mattis said.  “Even the subs get one.”  

“[B]ut everyone gets hit with no decal,” Mattis said. “I’ve had a couple of teachers that got hit for whatever reason; they didn’t have their decal up.” 

According to Mattis, the stickers were implemented on Feb. 27. The idea was a collaborative effort between the administration and the security.

The new system had already had testing before the Ballard administration brought it here. Other schools have used this system to prevent similar issues of students parking in staff lots.

”I know at other schools, they were using the sticker process,” Mattis said. “I believe it’s Franklin that’s using them as well […], and I want to say Rainier Beach.”

“The stickers seem to be working. The parking lot is a lot more empty [and] teachers have places to park, after lunch as well,” Mattis said. “[W]e go out there every morning and we [put up warnings.] Since [the 2nd of March,] it’s only been about one or two stickers.”

Although there is a lot less unwanted parking, the warning system has had a couple pitfalls.

“The pool side is towing heavily. They’re no longer warning us,” Mattis said.

Those who park near the pool are subject to be towed without warning. Speaking of warning, Mattis issued this warning to those who might park near the pool.

“So if you’re reading this please do not park by the poolside because they are not going to warn you,” Mattis said.

Although the newfound pool parking problem may cause issues, Mattis hasn’t noticed much student pushback to the staff lot system.

“Not really. Before we had the stickers, yes […], but once we warned that the stickers were coming […], [t]hey’re not parking there,” Mattis said.

Of course, the warnings benefit the staff the most, and as such, Mattis believes they  are very grateful to the new system.

“The teachers are very excited that something is getting done, they’re able to come and have a place to park […] So we do get a lot more congratulations,” Mattis said.