Student turns left, goes right to jail

Law 1, Student 0


Cobalt Henson

Junior Wha Hek being stopped after turning left out of the student parking lot on Jan. 14. Signs were recently installed instructing students to not turn left out of the lot for safety reasons.

Students are left concerned after what some call a “questionable rule” is being enforced on SHS drivers. Junior Wha Hek was arrested on Jan. 14 after turning left onto Shelby Street, which prompted a police response after motion sensors outside Cardinal Stadium detected the transgression.

“It was crazy,” bystander Julie Onlook said. “There were cops everywhere and a cop dog. I even think there was a helicopter hovering up above.”

Onlook was on the way to her car when she saw the incident. She says she felt nervous, thinking something big had happened but relaxed when she saw it was under control.

“They started yelling at the guy through the loudspeaker,” Onlook said. “Then they finally pinned him to the car after he complied with the demands these guys were giving him.”

According to his defense attorney, Wha Hek was “confused as to what was going on, and was concerned for his wellbeing and safety during the whole incident.” Wha Hek also stated that he was not aware of any signs saying not to turn left onto Shelby Street. Hek is being held in Marion County Juvenile Detention without bail for what is described as “the crime of the century” by various Southport residents.

“I don’t feel safe anymore, at home, in my garage, driving around, almost anywhere because people like him are out and about terrorizing this city,” an anonymous Southport resident said.

Senior John Wade is one of the many student drivers that was left confused after the signs were placed on school grounds recently. Wade’s commute time has been increased dramatically from 8 minutes commute to 11 minutes.

“I want to understand why we can’t just go left out of the lot,” Wade said.“Everyone’s saying different things, from it being a secret deep state conspiracy to it just being that there’s an endangered species that just so happens to cross the street everyday right in time for student dismissal.”

Some Southport residents, such as Erika Wright, are protesting on behalf of the student drivers at SHS. Wright organized a campaign to support a movement to free Hek using social media as a communication platform for rallies, attracting attention from school officials.

“These kids deserve the right to turn left,” Wright said. “If you can go left a street up from Shelby, then why can’t you turn left onto Shelby?”

SHS administration has addressed the situation in a release to students, stating that the signs are there to encourage students to practice proper driving etiquette. Later in the statement, it is also explained that drivers should start to expect less traffic when pulling out of the student parking lot.

“For all parties involved,” said SHS Assistant Principal Mike Cargon, “This is the best route to go. Sure students may be inconvenienced, but in a way they are serving their community by not causing traffic. In fact, in some of our meetings we talk about offering free parking passes in the coming year. It saves us some hassle, and students get ‘paid back’ for the inconvenience.”