PCP: New year brings controversial new rules

September 27, 2022

Rules gives us opportunities to better ourselves

The new rules about detention, phones and closed campus may have a tough reputation, but is it really that bad? It seems that the new rules intend to give us motivation to have a better educational life. They are giving us reasonable boundaries that we have to follow. Out of respect, we should follow them. 

The rule about freshmen, sophomores and juniors staying on campus for lunch is just about safety. It’s logical to keep us in a school environment until we can leave because we are still minors. The staff in our building genuinely care for us and would hate for anything bad to happen. It’s already a privilege for seniors to have an open campus and it gives the lower-classmen something to look forward to.

The new rules provide repercussions for the things we do wrong, which prepares us for when that happens in the real world as well. For example, not only are the new rules about detention giving us time to think about how we can better ourselves, but they also encourage us to be on time to class. It’s a humbling experience, but if we look past ourselves, we’re not the only ones who have rules to follow. There are strict rules for the adults in this building, and if they don’t follow them then they would have to face the consequences.

Another new rule that people are getting upset about is the phone policy. I overhear people complaining that it’s too sudden and too strict but in previous years we’ve had this same phone rule, we just haven’t been enforcing it all that well. 

This year brings a lot of changes to our school life, but they are in place to keep us safe. Like  how we are only allowed to exit and enter through one door. We will grow to accept these new rules and if the staff sees changes, they may get more lenient. We should try to show that we can follow the rules that are set before us. 

 

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New Park policies restrictive

The new Park policies have become a controversial topic. Some students are against the harsher regulations on phones and tardies, while others advocate for the stricter rules. After looking over the new policies, it’s clear to me that they are too suffocating to the student body. They don’t give enough room for students to grow and make mistakes.

These policies were enacted way too abruptly—there was no buildup. How these rules were introduced was inequitable. If the administration had introduced policies similar to these last year, but less strict, maybe the student body would be more used to it by now to be able to follow the rules smoothly.

The most notable of the new policies is the renewal of detention at Park, which hasn’t been in place at Park in previous years.. In order to receive detention, one must have three unexcused tardies in one day, one completely missed class in a day or two partial absences. Detentions are held in the cafeteria between 3:15 and 4 p.m. 

All of these reasons for detention can be simple mistakes due to a bad day. Waking up late, car not starting or getting lost are all valid excuses to miss school or classes. When Park punishes us for simple accidents it tells us that we can’t have bad days, we can’t make mistakes or have accidents. This is a toxic mindset that will carry with students for the rest of their lives. We should focus on accepting human error instead of punishing it. 

High school is about finding out who you are and the way most students find that out is by experimenting with new freedoms—like driving or getting a job. How are we supposed to grow and become well-adjusted adults if we can’t even leave campus for lunch? I understand that the school doesn’t want to be responsible for a student’s injury or death, but couldn’t they give everyone a slip for parents to fill out—like a field trip form—saying the school isn’t liable for anything that happens to a student outside of school grounds? Park already does this for the senior class, how hard would it be to apply this rule to other grade levels. The restriction of freedom is actively suppressing the student body and making it more difficult to branch out and become adults. 

Park should enact what’s called a “Logical Consequences” policy. Essentially, logical consequences treat human beings like human beings. Instead of detention or similar punishments, logical consequences suggest communicating with the student about why they were late and figuring out if punishment or communication would be a better course of action. I think that this system helps humanize students and teaches problem solving skills—it shows that there are solutions to their issues. Instead of going straight to anger, Park can choose to calm down and talk about why someone acted the way they did. 

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