Parents and guardians make a line at Roswell High School’s north parking lot as they pick up their child(ren) after school, Wednesday. (Vanessa Kahin Photo)
High traffic and tight spaces have led to concerns about the safety of students at Roswell High School as they are picked up and dropped off by their parents.
Mike Roberts, whose daughter attends Roswell High School, expressed concern over school officials preventing parents from picking up or dropping off students in the north parking lot. He said this forces parents to use Hobbs Street to pick up or drop off students, and the street experiences an increase in traffic around 7:45 a.m. when the school day begins and again at 3:15 p.m. when school is out.
“It’s just very dangerous,” Roberts said. “I’m worried about everyone’s kids. I don’t want to see anyone get run over.”
The situation would be ameliorated, Roberts said, if there were parking lot space where parents can pull in their vehicle.
Joe Baca, operations manager for the Roswell Independent School District, said the only designated areas for parents to pick up and drop off their children at Roswell High is off of Hobbs Street and Lea Avenue. However, he said nothing—not even a sign near the north parking lot that warns against it—could prevent parents from using the parking lot space to pick up or drop off their children.
“That should not be designated as student drop off, but parents ignore that,” Baca said. He said the main concern is congestion in the north parking lot, which is designated for visitors. Should a parent park in one of those spaces, he or she would have to back up to get out. When a car is backing up, Baca said, there is an increased chance someone may get hit. Vehicles that go through that parking lot may also block others from backing up to get out.
Baca said that, according to state guidelines, all schools should have a drop off and a pick up area for parents to use. However, due to financial issues, it has not been possible to build such an area at Roswell High.
“We have to do the best to comply with the regulations with the funding that we have,” he said. In fact, only four schools in Roswell comply fully with state guidelines: Sunset Elementary, Sierra Middle School, Berrendo Middle School, and University High.
Despite a parent’s concern and the inability to meet state guidelines due to financial restrictions, Baca said Roswell High is relatively safe.
“It’s been safe at (Roswell High),” Baca said. “We have not had an accident that I can recall in many years.”