Controversy in the Parking Lot: Trump spots spark heated debate


  When it comes to politics, most topics can cause disagreement. Whether students like it or not, most topics ignite a political disagreement, from how one may dress, to what bathroom one decides to use. Politics are all around and in fact it has become a relevant discussion at Northwest. Every year seniors are allowed to paint a parking spot with a design that makes them happy. What was supposed to be a light hearted, fun event has turned into a political disagreement.

There were three political statement parking designs that lit a heated discussion. One read “Trump 2024, I’ll be back”, another was a design of the Blue Lives Matter flag, and the third was an American flag with the statement, ‘Don’t Tread on Me’. 

 For those who do not know, the Blue Lives Matter flag is a statement in the United States advocating that those who are prosecuted and convicted of killing law enforcement officers should be sentenced under hate crime statutes. As for ‘Don’t Tread on Me’, while its origins may be less controversial, the phrase in the present day has raised far more political discussions. Although the statement tends to be viewed as a more conservative statement, for many the saying “Don’t Tread on Me” can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways.

Caleb Sidener, senior painted the “Trump 2024 : I’ll be back” flag alongside his girlfriend,  senior MacKenzie Haney.

“I knew the controversy was going to happen. It was obviously going to happen considering what we painted, plus it covered both spots. It doesn’t really bother me, people have the right to hate it; as long as they don’t vandalize it then I don’t really care,” Sidener said.

Haney, senior, explained that after seeing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ parking spot designed by a senior last year she felt that they should design a spot to show that there is diversity in opinions, but she was upset by the reactions they faced by friends and the community around them. 

“I can clearly see where people would be offended by it. We knew there was going to be some controversy but we also think there is a little maturity that should come with the acceptance that there are other viewpoints and people should have tried to get to understand our viewpoints better than labelling what they saw on the parking spot,” Haney said.

Chloe Hoyt, a junior, has an opposing view to the spots. Hoyt feels that the spot was rooted out of hate towards opposing views and should be removed.

“I don’t think that one [Black Lives Matter spot] was rooted out of hate, but I think the other ones were, because they knew what they were doing and they stated that it was rooted out of hate. So I don’t think that one should be covered up,” Hoyt said 

Alexandria Butler, senior, is very passionate about the controversy regarding the parking spots. 

 “Honestly, with the whole duration of time that has been set between COVID and coming back in person, people have changed a lot. So I feel like between those times of not being able to see how these people change, a lot can be sparked up or viewpoints can be switched or things can be brought to light.

Butler thinks more specific guideline might prevent future controversies.

“Being more mindful and aware of things like that and putting a rule onto it, especially students that are young and don’t really understand all the things that they talk about. So try to get more rules on what is painted on a parking spot, because if there is no regulation on that, then they can offend a lot of people, hurt a lot of people and also say a lot of harm to people,” Butler  said.

After lots of controversy regarding the parking spots, the school decided to keep them as is and not let them get painted over. The school made this decision based on the First Amendment.