Know Your School, Know Your Rules

Guard+shack+at+main+entrance+gets+a+new+look+for+the+new+year.

S. Bunn

Guard shack at main entrance gets a new look for the new year.

Sophie Bunn, Editor-In-Chief

    There have been many controversial new policies this year such as the installation of student IDs, the parking lot being off-limits during school hours, and increased punishment for dress code and cell phone violations. Additions to campus rules and regulations are a direct result of the increased need for student safety which is beneficial to the student body, but students continue to ignore policies and break simple rules. Now that we are two months into this school year, many of the policies and opinions surrounding them have changed.

    “With everything that is going on in the country today, it’s all about security in the school and student safety,” Truancy Coordinator Christopher Clay said. “That’s all we want, for these kids to be safe.”

    One of the biggest changes to the dress code policy this year was the addition of student IDs required to be worn around a student’s neck during the school day. These IDs were implemented for administrators to be able to identify individuals that do not belong on the campus, which further aids in student safety. However, since the beginning of school, the rule has lessened in necessity and there are less and less IDs being worn each day.

    “They don’t really mention them anymore. Most of the teachers don’t even require you to wear them,” senior Allison Howe said. “I feel like even though we know events like shootings happen, we don’t expect it to happen to us.”

    Students are less inclined to follow rules because of the lack of expectations they have. We forget to remember that a small ID is not at all a large price to pay for possibly avoiding a horrific event at our school.

    Two security gates, one letting cars in and one letting them out, were installed at the only open entrance to the school during class hours. Some students thought that the gates were mainly intended to keep unwanted visitors out, and others thought that their main purpose was to keep students from leaving campus.

    “There are two reasons for those gates. If students are leaving campus without permission and something happens to you, it’s on the school,” Clay said. “Also it goes back to school safety and student safety and identifying those that aren’t supposed to be on this campus.”

    Students are not allowed to leave campus in the middle of the school day, but that rule and the risk of the security gates has caused more and more students to want to eat in their cars in the parking lot. This has led to punishments for students even though they are simply eating in their cars. However, there is a reason for every rule that is made by administrators.

    “We want to keep students from their cars because we don’t know for sure what they’re doing out there,” Clay said. “If we have a lot of people in the parking lot, in their cars, you don’t know what is going on.”

    This might not sound like a valid excuse for students not to get to eat in their cars simply because not everyone has wrongful intentions, but it is important that everyone follow the rules. Teenagers in high school have some cliches around them concerning what they do and how they choose to disobey rules. We see some of these common acts surrounding the issue of the parking lot.

    “When you make something seem like you’re not allowed to do it, that makes people want to do it even more,” senior Angelo Niyonzima said. “To some people, it makes it more fun.”

     Students continue to go to the parking lot during school hours because they want to, and punishments are only increasing because the students don’t stop. After a series of school shootings that have happened in the past year, administrators are simply trying to help keep the school safe. Their way of instilling these new policies is simple, increased punishment.

    In addition, increased punishment for dress code has been enforced since the beginning of this school year. This year, just one dress code violation results in a day of In School Suspension (ISS).

    “They’re trying to get students in the mindset that following the rules is necessary,” Student Council President Ejehi Ihonkahn said. “I think that if [administrators] are more strict on something as simple as dress code, students will take more serious violation–such as leaving campus–more seriously.”

    The rules and regulations are recited to students every day, but in most cases, small details are changed or added that confuse faculty and students. A possible solution for miscommunication would be to help the students better understand the rules of their school in a simpler way. Something just as simple as a new announcement or updated flyer dictating the rules would help instead of increasing punishment for students that don’t even understand the specific rules and guidelines.

    At all costs, students and faculty should be comfortable and protected while on campus. This year, though there are multiple changes, additions, and revisions to the policies, everyone needs to remember that we all want the same thing.

    “Everything is going well this year,” Clay said. “I know that enforcement is more harsh than normal but I see things getting done. Just remember, it’s always about safety.”