By Camille Storch

Students and faculty alike have expressed concerns about the amount of effort being put into cleaning the new hall passes and keeping away the germs.

The new hall pass system was implemented this year as a way to keep better track of students and their whereabouts. (See related story for details.)

AHS freshman Kaitlyn O’Connor places the bathroom hall pass down on the sink counter while about to wash her hands. O’Connor stated, “I got sick the first week of school and I don’t think I have fully recovered.” She thinks that the hall passes have an influence on her state of health and is “not a fan.” (Photo by Camille Storch)

The hall passes are being tested out and while people are aware that it will take a bit of time to work out the kinks, many students and faculty have expressed interest in finding a way to keep the hall passes hygienic.

“I don’t worry too much about it… [as] we don’t see the plastic passes,” Nurse Gibson stated. She said that the passes to the nurse are on a paper slip, instead of the actual hall pass. The reasoning behind this is so that any germs that are on the pass going to the nurse are thrown out and not left sitting on the classroom pass.

Despite the passes not being a huge factor for the clinic, Gibson added, “I see the concern. Let’s say someone goes to the bathroom stall, where are they putting the pass?”

“Yeah, kind of,” junior Regan Grygiel affirmed when asked whether or not the bathroom passes are clean. “They go into the bathroom, in everyone’s hands, and then back into the classroom.”

Since this will be Grygiel’s third year at AHS, she has seen the different systems pass by and says that various committees have been trying to find alternative ideas. Grygiel shares that last year’s sophomore board came up with a new hall pass system idea, which included having a station outside of the bathroom to hold the passes, so that the pass did not travel inside the bathroom.

Assistant Principal Darlington stated that he realizes that there could be problems with the germs, but the staff is taking the precautions to try and keep all of the passes clear of germs. “We are going to collect the hall passes on November 5th…and we are going to clean all the passes…. We also got lanyards for all of the passes and I am going to be checking all of the bathrooms to see if there are hooks so that the bathroom passes can be hung up.”

Darlington added that some teachers have taken matters into their own hands in terms of sanitation, cleaning the plastic with Clorox wipes or having their own system to avoid as much contact with the pass as possible (pre-signing columns).

Last year’s system was more confusing as there were multiple passes and keeping track of timing with students was a lot more challenging.

Speaking of last year’s pass system, Gibson said, “We had wooden blocks and we got rid of those because you couldn’t really clean wood and they’re porous.” 

“I try to avoid it at all costs because it’s kind of gross as everyone is touching it and going in the bathroom,” voiced Tessa Barcelo, an AHS freshman who is against the hall pass system. “You are touching what everyone else is touching…the pass gets put down in the bathroom, and there is so much contact and germs going around that it really grosses me out!”

Barcelo recommended getting some more hooks to put by on the mirrors above the sinks, as another place to leave the pass when you are washing your hands. In general, Barcelo is not a fan of the pass system and thinks that there is room for improvement, yet she understands that they are important for keeping track of students.