Have a good look-see at the above pictures. It is a grade school in the next county from where I live here in Northeastern Ohio.
1. On either side of the parked SUV you can see are clearly designated handicap parking in the Warren, Ohio city school (PK-8) parking lot.
2. The space between the two handicap spaces is clearly hashed out in white, indicating “NO PARKING” in this area. That area is meant to give adequate room (especially if a wheelchair is involved and/or the vehicle is a handicapped accessible van/vehicle) for handicapped drivers or passengers to unload from their vehicle parked in either handicapped parking spot. PARKING IN THAT HASHED AREA IS PROHIBITED.
3. The SUV parked in that ‘no parking’ area between the two handicapped parking spaces belongs to the school’s principal.
4. Said school principal made it a habit to park in that restricted area, even after repeated warnings from the police officer.
5. Said police officer was fired from his position by the school superintendent.
WARREN, Ohio – According to Michael Currington, a representative for the city of Warren’s police union, Google Earth shows clearly the reason for what started with a warning and ended with controversy.
“The resource officer had given a number of verbal warnings over a period of time to the principal of the facility to not park in a handicap designated area,” said city law director Greg Hicks.
But Hicks says the principal at Jefferson Elementary defied officer Adam Chinchic’s warning, and on Tuesday, parked there again.
When Chinchic issued her a ticket, she contacted school administration officials, who had security escort Chinchic from the premises.
Currington says that Google Earth image shows the principal’s car parked between two handicapped spaces; an area for elevators on handicap-accessible vehicles.
Ohio Revised Code indicates that hatched area is still off-limits for parking.
Currington says the principal believed she was in the right, but many officials including Hicks disagree…
USAToday: “A citation was issued to the vehicle for the handicapped parking violation. Within one hour, the superintendent had ordered two administrators to go to Jefferson and escort the SRO off the property,” said Michael Stabile, with the Warren police union.
College Fix: … the citation set Principal Boyer back $100.
District Superintendent Steve Chiaro was evasive, releasing a statement which said “it is our belief that an individual event or series of events should never impede on what we have accomplished or affect the positive rapport and interactions our students and staff experience with our officers each day.”
Really, Superintendent Chiaro? Think hard on what you just stated compared to what you and your principal just did. You are wrong. She is wrong. Your treatment of the officer trying to enforce the law — and more than fairly, as pointed out that he had given her multiple warnings to stop parking there — was not “positive” in your effort(s) to impede him from properly doing his job.
Some might think this is a non-story. But is it, really?
We, as a society, not only have ‘law’ but ‘law and order’. Law is meant to keep order … if we all abide by the law(s). And as with everything else, such law and order starts on your local level. While this incident does not rise to the level of, for example, the mass shooting that happened in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that event stemmed from a total disintegration of allowing law enforcement to have and use every tool and opportunity to protect the people on that campus.
The situation here is this adult leader, that the students look up to for proper guidance of right and wrong, in a primary grade school was repeatedly told by the officer, who was assigned to the school to insure law and order remained present there, especially for the safety of the students and faculty/staff, and she went to her school system superior in order to have the law officer fired for doing his job. Let that sink in, because a lot of people in my area are shaking our heads. This was not an abuse of police power. The officer had given the principal multiple warnings not to park in that restricted area, and she continued to disregard him and the law. The officer’s only recourse was to finally write her a ticket.
Who do you think was right/wrong in this case?
So, these little local stories do have meaning for the nation. Warren, like Youngstown, has a significant crime issues. The police have problems everywhere these days with disrespect and disregard for them and the law. This does not help.
This school principal and the superintendent obviously have rules inside the school and on the campus that not only children but parents and anyone visiting the school must follow and obey. How would they handle the disregard and violation of their campus/building rules and regulations? It is obvious these two in leadership positions at this school believe themselves above the law. They decided to not only continue to violate the parking laws but carry out an apparent personal retribution against the officer who was in charge of protecting that school and its inhabitants, and keeping order. Yes, it is a traffic violation. However, God forbid, this was actually one of those dreaded deadly stories we have unfortunately heard in the news for the last several years? This officer would have been one to run into the building and try to protect and save those lives within. These two school officials have practiced anarchy, for all the students to see.
How could this principal and the superintendent face the minor and impressionable kids in that school after this blatant disregard for law and disrespect for law enforcement? What, exactly, do these adults charged with making certain other people’s children understand right and wrong? What example have these two given those kids?
One other point I want to make here …
Public schools have those little signs up on certain parking spaces designating spaces that are meant for the school principal, faculty, etc. Why was this principal not parking in her own designated space? That area she was habitually parking in was not her designated space, plain and simple. And if the campus did not have such saved parking spaces for faculty/staff, why not? THAT is an issue between school faculty and the superintendent/schoolboard. That is their problem to hash out, not the police officer assigned to the campus. It does not negate the fact that she was repeatedly warned what she was doing wrong and why it was wrong. This is a horrible example being given to those children in that school, and a thorn in the side of the local police department that supplies its officers to that campus.
In simple terms, this could have been avoided had the principal never parked in the restricted area in the first place, and if not that she could have never violated the law again after being warned the first time. Further more, it was her individual decision to continue disregarding the law and the officer’s warnings, and she should have just paid the fine and learned her lesson the hard way. Nope.
While the police officer was removed from his school campus detail, he is still employed by and out on cruiser road/patrol duty for the Warren PD.
From United For Blue in Washington DC’s Facebook status:
We have been following this story. I understand that they are working on a resolution for an apology to the officer. What about the Principal? She was warned several times not to park in the handicap spot. Nowhere have I seen any special plates or placards for use of a handicap spot. She is a principal and suppose to be leading by example. If she can break the rules and ignore law enforcement when given a warning, what example is she showing her students. A parking spot may not seem like much to some, but if you need that spot it could mean a lot. This principle was wrong. She ignored warnings, so she deserved the ticket. This officer should not have been removed from his post. The principle at this point should be the one disciplined. She also owes him a public apology.