Parents and students at South Kitsap High School are concerned about the safety and education of teens after a big increase in the number of kids on campus.
The district decided to bring ninth-graders to the high school level and says while things feel different, the school can handle the extra enrollment.
South Kitsap High students say the new school year has brought hallway traffic jams between classes.
“It's like driving on I-5 at 5 o’clock in the afternoon constantly stop, go, stop, go,” Ian Conte said. “The final two minutes – that's when the hallways are clear, and then everybody's rushing to class, and they couldn't get into class before.”
Parents and students feeling frustrated started a Facebook page and have started to rally support.
“I've been hit in the face a couple of times from really tall people, just walking people, because they're just trying to get to their class trying to push through the crowd,” one senior shared.
The district says the campus is not over capacity, and the fire marshal visited the school Friday and Monday to make sure everything was safe.
Voters have repeatedly rejected bonds which would have built more schools in the community and would have alleviated overcrowding.
“That's something our community needs to wrestle with whether it's this high school or any education facility, because we need to get ready for new homes and folks who want to move over for affordable housing” Assistant Superintendent Jay Villars said.
The district is adding more portable buildings and doing what it can to protect the quality of the education.
Administrators believe things will get better as students become more familiar with the campus.
Parents and students worry more kids on campus will hurt the quality of the education and are pushing for change.
“Kids are trying to get involved and want the school to be a better place,” Meaghan Berry said.
Students say the situation has their attention. There's even talk about putting another bond in front of voters, even if it will come too late to help this year.
“If we get everyone together and get everyone to see how hazardous the school is right now this bond will be able to pass,” Berry said.
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