Students struggle to find place to wait for rides after school.
After school here at Deer Park High School can get hectic. Right when the bell rings at 4:00, all the students are hurrying either to get to the buses, their car or bike, or to get a head start walking home. There are a few students that have to stay a while until their ride gets to the school. Sometimes it’s for thirty minutes, or even up to an hour depending on how far their ride is coming from, and during that time, students are limited to where they can wait. If they try to sit in the cafeteria, they are kicked out by the custodial staff. The tutorial room is only for the ones that have to make up a test or to get help. There is not a real sense of safety when the security officers and the on campus police don’t stay and make sure everyone has left without any trouble. There should be a place in the school where kids can safely wait for their rides home.
The tutorial room is a place where students can go to make up quizzes and tests, or can get help from either their teacher or another teacher from the same subject. This seems like a place that is fine with kids coming and waiting for their ride, but it’s not. Once you walk in, the teachers immediately announce to each kid that unless they are in need to do a retest or need help, no one else can be in there. After school, the cafeteria is empty of the many students that sit at the tables during lunch. Since it’s not being used, the students go and sit, hoping to get a chance to stand by before they have to go home. Then, not too long after, the custodial staff shows up to kick them out, making the students looking for somewhere else to wait. Having police officers and security guards at the school should be a good thing, we know that they are here to keep us safe. That stops a couple of minutes after the bell rings. The security guards leave the campus the same time as students and half of the staff leave in various times. The other half leave as soon as they can. “It would be nice to have a program because like when people are sitting out here like myself, we just get on our phones or do something, or we just stare at the walls so, it’ll be nice to have something to do, instead of just sitting there.” said an anonymous source.
It’s very understandable that the tutorial room has to turn away those who do not need help, it is a limited space and the teachers can’t keep going to each kid and realizing that they aren’t there for homework help. With the cafeteria, the janitors did just clean it and would like to keep the place in pristine condition until the next day, so of course having students come and mess things up would make the janitors upset. And finally, the security guards, along with the rest of the staff, do have families and homes to get to, so making them stay later than they need to is very demanding on our behalf. “It depends on what we [the office staff] have going on,” said Assistant Principal Tammi Mallory. “If we have a busy day, and we see a lot of kids and there’s a lot of issues that come up, some of us wait until after school to answer emails, and do phone calls and things like that. So really it’s different on everybody…”
A solution should be to have an after school club of some sorts that students would be in charge of, so that the kids that have to stay do not feel like they are being babysat. This way, they would feel safe and not have to worry about where they can wait. “I don’t feel comfortable with no adults around” said an anonymous source. It should be a club and not just a classroom full of kids because it should be fun and entertaining for the students, something that makes them feel welcomed. The important part of this is that there is a place where students can go and not feel like the school/administration doesn’t care about them. It’s not their fault their parents might work in Pearland and have to drive all the way here, or if they get off of work exactly at four or even after four and have to drive through traffic. The school needs to accommodate to those who need a place to stay before their ride gets here.”It would be nice to have a program because like when people are sitting out here like myself, we just get on our phones or do something, or we just stare at the walls so, it’ll be nice to have something to do, instead of just sitting there” said anonymous. “Well literally just about any stranger could just snatch someone and no one would notice…” said student Kathia Guerra.
The administration needs to make the environment after school more inviting and stop the students to leave at 4:15, it makes it seem like if the students rides aren’t here by then, they’ll have to wait outside. Proposing a club is a good idea, for students will not have to worry about something happening and no adult is here to help them. As long as there are students willing to step up and make this idea possible.”There’s a lot of opportunity’s out there…It would just take some good leadership in our young people, to really develop a good plan…” Assistant Principal Evette Powell said.