Broughton students protest parking situation

September 19, 2008 11:30:04 AM PDT
Broughton High School students staged an unusual protest Friday morning.

They parked their cars on the school's grassy lawn.

Students are upset about the Raleigh Planning Commission's rejection of a proposed parking lot that would replace grass.

Broughton alumni have been working hard to protect the school's historical lawn.

"Someone from the historical society said paving the lawn would be like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa," student Sam Mclawhon said.

So, students called it the Mona Lisa protest. Word spread fast and students used Facebook to organize more than 80 students protested by parking on the lawn. Signs reading "We Want Parking on the Front Lawn" were plastered on vehicle dashboards.

Most students pay to park off-campus.

"You have to pay double what you have to pay for an on-campus spot," one student said.

The protest will force officials to make a decision about the fate of the school's historical lawn.

The average school in Wake County has roughly 700 parking spaces for students, faculty and staff. But at Broughton, there are roughly 250 spaces and of those, only 70 are student spaces.

The planning commission denied initial plans to build a parking lot. The city manager is working with the school system to find alternatives and plan to report its findings to the Raleigh City Council.


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