Lebanon High School’s traffic dilemmas are again drawing parental ire.
Amber Hurdle, whose daughter attends Lebanon High School, took her frustration to Facebook after school officials blocked her daughter in the school parking lot.
“Wilson County Schools sent white vans to literally block the entrances to the Lebanon High School (LHS) student parking aisles to prevent them from leaving while they attempted another useless ‘fix’ (allowing all ‘car riders’ to leave first) to the traffic issues they caused when they built the school,” said Hurdle in a Facebook post Friday.
She also said in her post that because of the 40-minute delay, her daughter was not released from campus until 11 minutes after she was supposed to pick up her younger brother at the elementary school.
“This is an extreme lack of respect for not only the students, but for the parents and the families involved,” said Hurdle.
She said the students driving themselves to school likely have responsibilities, such as after-school jobs or siblings to pick up from school.
“If you can’t make it fair, then your plan’s not working,” said Hurdle.
Lebanon City Council member Rob Cesternino said several people have contacted him about the situation.
“There are a lot of people who are upset,” said Cesternino. “There’s some concern about whose decision this was.”
He said people often mistakenly think the city of Lebanon is involved with issues related to Lebanon High School since it is within the city limits.
As a Wilson County school, though, it does not fall under city council or Lebanon police purview.
Cesternino said that as a parent, though, he understood other parents’ concerns about the situation.
“If there was a time that one of my kids was left standing at the side of the curb at the elementary school because their sibling was not let out of the parking lot, I personally would be demanding answers,” said Cesternino.
Lebanon High School Principal Myra Sloan said the district’s central office developed and implemented the plan.
“They brought it over today,” said Sloan on Friday.
Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the measure was an attempt to help ease the traffic congestion.
“We’re working on different options right now trying to help afternoon traffic…We had traffic engineers with us today,” said Hall. “We’ll continue tweaking.”
He said the Lebanon High School campus has more car riders than any of the district’s other schools. He estimated between 900 and 1,000 cars are on campus each day, with about 400 staying throughout the day.
“We have to keep everything controlled and safe,” said Hall.
He said he could not say how long parents should plan for their children to be on campus after school dismissal each day.
“Our goal is to get them off campus as quickly as possible,” said Hall. “A lot depends on the number of cars on campus.”