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School seeks parking ban for 'Lover's Lane'

July 13, 2011

Newton-Conover High School leaders want to prohibit parking on a street near school grounds because they believe students are going to the area to engage in sexual activity and deal drugs.

"We have had three or four phone calls in the past school year from residents on the street about behavior that they had witnessed out of our students," Newton-Conover High School Principal Kevin Campbell said, adding that since students are parking off school grounds and engaging in illegal behavior, only Newton Police or the school resource officer can address the problems. "We want to be good neighbors with the people around us."

By asking Newton Police to prohibit parking on the 1500 block of North Deal Avenue, Campbell said he hopes students could no longer hide in a secluded area that is out of school officials' line-of-sight.

However, if Newton City Council bans parking along the road behind the NCHS softball field, students won't be the only ones required to find a new place to park. Residents on the street would also lose their parking spaces.

"If you go back and look at the residences, every house on the street has a car parked on the street, including us," said North Deal Avenue resident Robert Reitzel Jr. "Practically every house on the street parks there. ... We can't park in our yard. We have to find a place to park."

Newton Police Chief Don Brown brought the parking prohibition request to Newton City Council on Tuesday.

"There is no reason for the students to be parking there, because there is adequate parking," Brown said. "Drug activity has been detected, and there is sexual activity that has gone on down there."

Campbell said as he fielded complaints from residents along North Deal Avenue, one resident reported finding three used condoms in their yard.

"Do I know that was our students? No. Is the likelihood that it was? Yes. Did it happen during school time? Maybe," Campbell said, adding that in addition to forcing car-driving students back on school grounds, a parking prohibition might help resolve litter problems in the area. "I don't have any jurisdiction over there."

As Brown brought the issue to City Council on Tuesday, he also brought a petition signed by five of seven residents along the road. The petition was circulated by a uniformed school resource officer.

Reitzel, and his father Red Reitzel, share a residence on the street, and they were among two property owners who didn't sign the petition.

"I don't believe in a policeman carrying a petition around. I think that is coercion. They might sign a petition when ordinarily they wouldn't do it," Red said.

Further, the school resource officer indicated to property owners that the parking ban would only apply to students, he said.

"The neighbors are under the impression they can still park on the street," Robert Reitzel said.

Brown said a parking ban would apply to all vehicles on the roadway. Parking on the street would result in a $10 ticket he said — for residents and students alike.

"I think it is bad that neighbors are being hurt by somebody else's problem," said Council member Wayne Dellinger.

Options for parking bans during certain hours of the day were discussed, and Campbell said most problems are occurring before school, or near the end of the day, when some students return from internships.

Council also discussed posting a no parking sign, and Mayor Pro Tem Anne Stedman suggested residents of the street receive parking permits.

"Our cars and the neighbors' cars are parked there all day long," Robert Reitzel said.

At 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, The O-N-E spotted two cars parked on the street in front of residences. At 2:45 p.m., there were six vehicles parked along the street.

"My concern is that maybe you have got students that are maybe breaking school rules and are breaking the laws in some instances," said Council member Robert Abernethy Jr. "I don't know that a 'no parking' sign is going to deter them from going down there and looking for privacy."

Council member Bill Lutz requested the matter be tabled so street residents can be notified that a parking ban would apply to them, too.

No further action was taken.

"The school system and the neighbors have come to us for help," said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax. "We have seven houses up there, and we are trying to deal with parking. We ought to be able to deal with this."


Hey I gotta another bad idea....

July 18, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 3 years 45 weeks ago
Comment: 550

..Lets change the name of North Deal Avenue to...SEX DRIVE.

Get it?

Here is a better Solution

July 14, 2011 by BR549, 3 years 45 weeks ago
Comment: 539

Don't blame the principal. I've been on campus and see what is going on. The question is why are these problem students still 'STUDENTS'.

These problem students need to be expelled not suspended. The issue is that it takes an act of congress to expel a student because we have to pretend that each child is as 'valuable' as the next. By the time you are in 11th or 12th grade you have proven whether you are a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The out-of-control kids are a part of the problem. The citizens of the Newton-Conover community have a right to expect a certain level of civility among the students.

NCHS has drug and discipline issues galore. There are good students who have dropped out of NCHS because they were threatened by gangs there. I'd rather pay for the jail detention of the thugs than the education costs they incur on my tax dollars. We're already paying for their out-of-wedlock babies. I personally don't care about the future of the students who are at NCHS only to throw their weight around and cause trouble. I'd rather they be expelled so the students who want to learn can do so.

The so called 'experts' (and believe me an 'expert in education' is no more an expert than the average citizen) in the Central Office need to be required to teach a certain number of hours each year in the high school and then see how well their 'theories' to get kids to behave really work.

The citizens of the community need to address the school board and Superintendent and get them to support a quick path to expel problem students....and support the principal when a student needs to be expelled.

A Concerned Parent

Here is a solution....

July 14, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 3 years 45 weeks ago
Comment: 535

...ban the little dirt bags from FREAKIN DRIVING TO AND FROM SCHOOL. NO CARS PERIOD!

Perhaps you could make limited, case by case exception, for those students who are:

a. Bonafide Seniors, in GOOD ACADEMIC Standing and who are GAINFULLY EMPLOYED, AFTER SCHOOL!

b. the res, too bad, ride the freakin bus!

What I can't understand, is how LITTLE FREAKIN control the principal has over his students that they FREAKIN DRIVE OFF, MAKE WHOOPY, BUY SELL OR USE DRUGS and then COME BACK TO SCHOOL.


THIS IS WHAT I AM RANTING ABOUT....the ultimate responsibility is to the taxpayers. Not to these bunch of ungrateful smurfs!

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