Michael IversonStaff Writer
With the onset of a new high school principal, a slough of critical reception has come from students who despise new policies; especially the new bathroom pass policy. The policy, which requires a student to have their agenda signed to leave a classroom, replaces the former policy of teacher bathroom sign out sheets. As teachers and students alike are a bit frazzled by Mr. Malone’s new policy, which has been carried over from the Middle School, the policy has many questioning the benefits of the new system.
The new policy, declared by Mr. Malone but not explicitly stated in the student handbook, has many students declaring it as an “immature” and “unnecessary” policy from the middle school. Amongst the reactions are those stating that “We are not middle schoolers” and therefore should “not be treated like Middle Schoolers.” With this in mind, many students have sought to undermine the passport program and unveil its flaws. Some of these comments including that “If the hall pass is used daily, you will run out of spaces.” and “If I don’t have my hall pass, I can’t leave and then what? Do I just pee in my seat?”
Among the concerns is the argument that when there is a fire drill, teachers no longer have a definite record of where students are. Such documentation is pivotal in the event of an emergency because rescue must work quickly to not only clear the building but to also free anyone trapped inside. In the heat, and the stress, of the moment it is very likely that students and teachers who are fleeing from the building will forget, at least temporarily until they reach the sidewalk and do a headcount, that someone is missing from the class. Furthermore, the absence of the sheet won’t provide the information of where a student is definitely located during the emergency. And since many teachers simply sign at a glance, it is likely they would not know the missing student’s location. This within itself is extremely hazardous, and even life threatening, in an emergency situation.
For everyone who is hopeful, a policy change is still possible. The student handbook states:
“If a student must leave class, a hall pass is to be issued by the teacher and the student must sign out and in upon his/her return to class. Students found in the hallways without passes will be returned to their classroom and disciplined, if appropriate.”
The handbook never explicitly requires the use of an agenda passport system. Although passports allow the luxury of minimal classroom interruption for classroom breaks, since many teachers only require the agenda book to be signed without having the student raise their hand and then ask to leave, the dangers of the policy severely outweigh the benefits. Students and teachers should continue to voice their concerns towards the system to Mr. Malone if there is to be any change.