The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Rain, Rain Go Away: Advocating for School Protection

Portola+High+can+implement+a+better+rain+protection+system+by+opening+up+more+space+for+students+at+school.+%E2%80%9CBecause+it%E2%80%99s+a+Southern+California+school%2C+it%E2%80%99s+an+outdoor+school%2C+so+there%E2%80%99s+really+not+much+to+do+to+protect+kids+from+the+rain%2C%E2%80%9D+junior+Lulu+%28Jingxin%29+Zhao+said.+%E2%80%9CHowever%2C+I+think+it+would+be+good+if+we+could+open+more+classrooms+during+rainy+days+too%2C+so+kids+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+eat+out+in+lunch+or+crowd+in+the+gym.%E2%80%9D
Claire Chan
Portola High can implement a better rain protection system by opening up more space for students at school. “Because it’s a Southern California school, it’s an outdoor school, so there’s really not much to do to protect kids from the rain,” junior Lulu (Jingxin) Zhao said. “However, I think it would be good if we could open more classrooms during rainy days too, so kids don’t have to eat out in lunch or crowd in the gym.”

We have all experienced the soggy wet socks when you step in a puddle, the soaked hair from spending too much time in the rain or even an umbrella flipping inside out from the intense winds, soaking you even more.

With buildings far apart with no indoor connections, a student must walk under open spaces to reach their next class. This problem becomes worse if they have to commute from one end of campus to another, such as from the 900s building to the theater. If they have to get lunch, they risk standing out in the rain.

Administrators can improve rain protection by designating certain buildings and classrooms to ensure students’ safety. This way, more students will be able to keep dry from the rain and will be less susceptible to harmful impacts on their immune system, while drivers would not have to worry about leaving campus and driving in dangerous conditions because of the rain.

Even though spending time in the rain might not directly make you sick, it impacts your immune system, which can increase susceptibility to the flu and the common cold, according to a study done in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

There are two places a student might be able to eat inside during lunch: a teacher’s room or the Student Union. The former is very hard to find, with most teachers locking their doors before they go out for lunch. The latter is often crowded to the brim with students, making it very hard to find an open spot. There may be an unlucky day when both options are closed because of an event like the PRIDE lunch.

Students are also not allowed to eat in their car while it is parked in the school parking lot, and must drive off-campus if they wish to do so. Even though a student may be able to leave campus if their car is parked at school, driving in rain greatly increases the chance of accidents because it lowers traction and maneuverability while driving, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

“I still remember when I started driving and I was driving in the rain, and the cars in front of you will splash rain onto your windshield,” junior Lulu (Jingxin) Zhao said. “I had to do the wipers really fast. You can’t see anything. So it’s definitely very, very scary.”

Some may say that rather than allowing teachers to open their doors, the school should build awnings to keep students protected from the rain instead. Building awnings can provide for more shelter when students walk outside. Awnings can also be used in the sun, to protect students from the extreme heat that Irvine experiences for most of the year. However, this is not cost-effective for the few rainy days that occur, according to Coney.

“The way our school is set up, there’s no real straight route to go inside or stay covered the entire time,” Coney said. “So, and I know I’ve talked to many students that umbrellas are not cool, but that is the number one thing if a student uses an umbrella, that’s the best way to get across campus without getting too wet.”

Awnings are not a feasible solution because the combination of rain and wind can damage the fabric. The extent and structure of the awnings would have to come into question as well, because there is only so much room the school has and severe weather conditions do not happen as often in California.

Spending too much time in the rain can have serious consequences for a person physically, so even though rainy days are a minimum, the administration should set policies to keep students safe and be more understanding on their behalf.

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About the Contributors
Maitri Allani, Media Director
Maitri Allani is the Media Director and a Business Manager for her second and final year of Portola Pilot. She loves to write and read, especially horrible romance books. She is extremely bisexual and an avid fan of Women’s soccer. She spends her time watching TV and sleeping. Computer science is her passion and she can code with Python, HTML, and Java. She is usually jamming out to Bollywood songs, BTS and Taylor Swift.
Claire Chan, Front Page Editor
Claire Chan is the front page editor and news photo editor for her second and final year on the Portola Pilot. She is looking forward to making the best moments for her senior year. Outside of school, she enjoys solving the Rubik’s cube, making origami cranes, reading murder mystery books, and playing the kalimba.
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