Schools' Parking Fee Dents Loudoun Teens' Lifestyles
Parents are protesting:
"Maybe next year there will be a fee to sit in a chair at lunch, because that's a privilege, too," said Russ Borman, father of a Briar Woods High School senior. "It just goes against what we would think is a normal and fair practice."Students are protesting:
Daniel Hopkins, a student at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, and his friend Kelly Griffith, a student at Park View High School in Sterling, started a protest group on Facebook months ago that attracted 265 sympathizersLCPS is responding:
"The big yellow school buses are always available," said Heritage High principal Margaret Huckaby.And yet nothing much has changed:
...they caved the first week of class. They said they weren't willing to give up the thrill of driving to school, even if it ate up an entire paycheck from Target, where both work part time at the Starbucks counter.You know, I'll bet I'm the only School Board member with a Facebook account? And I had no idea there were facebook protest groups. Facebook isn't even accessible through the LCPS website.
Borman bought his daughter, Kerry, a permit before classes started so she can drive herself to work two days a week.
Despite months of protests on Facebook, no Loudoun high schools has reported significantly fewer parkers, although several carpool groups share passes. There also hasn't been a surge in upperclassmen riding the bus, schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard said.
This leads me to two points:
- If I didn't know there were Facebook protests, and I'm the only person among Board members and in senior administration with a Facebook account, it is clear that in this case anyway (and I suspect in many others) Facebook protest groups are meaningless. I ignore invitations to join them as a rule, and I suspect that many times they make people feel as if they have contributed their voice to an important issue, when in fact they have not.
- LCPS employees need to have access to Facebook and other social media sites online. It's part of encouraging communication with students and constituents, and finding out what is going on in the community.