Reaction to the changes

October 18, 2022

According to Smith, long-term safety implications of the new rules outweigh short-term limits on student freedom. 

“We watch the news and we see and hear about school shootings or people sneaking weapons in the schools. When I see that on TV, I know that it is possible and that can happen here,” Smith said. “It does make me concerned for students and staff. I do feel like cracking down on that stuff is beneficial. I know some students don’t like it right now, but in the long run, they’ll definitely appreciate it.”

With these changes comes a new policy regarding restricted building access for Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) students, as they are no longer allowed in the building during open hours. For senior Zoe Gutz, that has been a frustration as well as a challenge. 

“Getting into school is a lot more annoying, (and so is) the fact that I have a study hall fifth period. Even though I don’t have a class, that can get in the way of certain things for me. Let me have an open period, even though I’m PSEO,” Gutz said. “I’m not allowed to be in the school.”

For sophomore Sam Zubia Flores, despite the changes administration is making to combat student absences, she believes the responsibility lies on students.  

“(Administration) wants kids to be in class. A lot of people (are) skipping but it’s their choice at the end of the day. If the person wants to go to school, they’re going to go to school. If they don’t, they don’t,” Zubia Flores said. 

With the high amount of tardies and absences as students came out of lockdown, sophomore Janet Kromah said the community got used to leniency with skipping. 

“I genuinely believe it was because of the absences and the amount of people that were gone last year, almost everyone would skip last year or skip a day and (it) got really bad,” Kromah said.

In addition to this, Polk said students of color were disproportionately impacted by the hallway rules. For Polk, these rules will be beneficial for aiding the education of those targeted. 

“To be 100% honest, the reason that I most appreciate the fact that we are actually changing some stuff is because the people that were in the hallways last year were (a) vast majority (of) students of color,” Polk said. “We were not doing our students of color a service last year because we were letting them do whatever they wanted.”

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