The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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We broke into the school parking garage (not actually)

James Davis

The Jackson-Reed parking garage is a mystery to all. Students, teachers, and possibly even the rats who scurry around couldn’t tell you what goes on inside the forbidden place due to its exclusivity. Well, we were tired of not knowing what went on inside the ominous lot and even more exhausted of trying to catch a glimpse on the rare chance the door would open to let teachers through. So we got to work, did some digging around, and were thoroughly surprised at what we uncovered. 

After hearing how sparse the spots in the parking lot are, we were nervous about finding a teacher we knew who could give us the inside scoop. But, a mysterious teacher who received a spot this past November came in clutch and revealed to us what it takes to secure a coveted spot. 

When we started our investigation into the mysteries of JR parking, we had no idea that we were unlocking what could possibly be a decade-long source of tension and grudges within the Jackson-Reed staff. According to him, the likelihood of receiving a spot anywhere on campus ground is mainly left up to seniority and position within the staff. For those who are not fortunate enough to have a spot, the other option is to receive one of the envied parking passes that will protect cars from tickets on the street. Parking passes are a breeding ground for competition though, as there are only 50, and teachers must pray that they get selected to be one of the lucky recipients. 

However, getting a spot in the lot or garage is more important than just the convenience of it, it’s also a matter of safety. During the lockdown last year, a teacher’s car was caught in the crossfire of the shooting outside the school. Due to the damage, that teacher was without their car for two months. 

The other danger of street parking is tickets. Teachers who do not have a spot (the majority) are left to fight with not only students but also DC parking police on side streets. The resulting fines are unavoidable and leave teachers having to pay $100 fines (with a $25 tax!) just to park conveniently at work.

Teachers have been forced to come up with creative solutions to avoid tickets. These solutions include getting someone to cover class while they move their car, parking at Alice Deal Middle School, or as social studies teacher Margaret Pierce revealed to us, beloved administrative aid Patricia Cebrzynski will come on the announcements and let teachers know if there is parking enforcement on Chesapeake. 

Now that we had gotten answers to all our questions, we were desperate to see that garage in the flesh. A very kind anonymous teacher brought us into the garage through the Chesapeake entrance (with their special keycard) and gave us the grand tour. To be honest, it was just a garage. We were subconsciously hoping for something flashy, maybe a disco ball or two. But it was just cars in a cement lot. 

We did notice that there was a Tesla charging spot and secret bike rack, open to all teachers. After basking in the glory of the gray walls and unfinished ceilings, we were taken back into school through an entrance we never knew existed that opened up directly into the art wing. The garage has been right in our faces this whole time and we had no idea!

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