As we approach the end of the school year, it is evident that spring fever is upon us and students are itching for summer. However as the amount of tardy slips increase and the effort put into homework decreases, the one thing students did not expect was the sudden change in the hall pass system. It has been a widely accepted fact that the hall monitors have cracked down this year on letting students roam the halls without passes, but now the rules have changed yet again. For these last few weeks of school, anyone who wishes to step out into the hallway requires a written pass with their name, the time, date, signature from the teacher… and social security number. Although that last one is a bit of a stretch, it probably wouldn’t be frowned upon by the hall monitors if they saw it on the pass.
So why the sudden change? Dr. Lord said that the only reason the new system is in place is because the boys’ bathrooms are being vandalized. According to the janitors who perform some of the maintenance work on the bathrooms, there have been multiple incidents of tobacco cans being flushed down the toilets and getting stuck in the pipes. The high school has then been forced to call in a plumber to fix the destroyed toilets.
“With the new system,” said Dr. Lord, “we can look at the [tapes from] the cameras in the hallways and back them up against the sign-out logs that the teachers are keeping in their classrooms to see who is out of the room at that time and try to find whoever is doing this. I’m waiting for the bathrooms to be repaired, but we’re not planning on bringing this new system into next year.”
The school was also reprimanded by the NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditors last year for the students’ lack of respect for the facilities, and this system should “hopefully change the way some people treat the school,” according to Dr. Lord.
However, this new system is not bringing too many smiling faces, from students and teachers alike. The overall consensus from the student body seems to be that the new system is simply too much. The rumors have already started piling up about kids getting dragged back to class by their ears because they didn’t have a pass, even though their classroom was right across from the bathroom.
“It’s a necessary evil,” said Mr. Armstrong, a math teacher, “because [the administration] has to do something to try and find out who’s destroying the bathrooms. However, changing the routine in the classroom has been pretty difficult and intrusive to learning. I understand why they’re doing it, but I wish it didn’t have to happen.”
Ms. Desharnais, one of the hall monitors at AHS, says that although the new system does make it a little harder on the teachers, it does cut down on the amount of kids not going to class. “I understand that kids can get [anxious] so they need to go outside and take a walk, but eventually they need to go back,” she said. Apparently taking a leisurely 15-minute stroll has never been, and most likely will never be, acceptable at AHS.
As much of a nuisance as the new system is, it does seem to be an appropriate response from the administration. My only question is who are the hoodlums doing the damage? These individuals’ behavior unfortunately affects the rest of the students in school, but the sad truth is that there is a very slim chance that the people who did the damage will get caught and punished. But with this new foolproof hall pass system, who would risk it again anyway?
By Jenna Kosinski