New rules, new hassles


photo or infographic by Carlie Rutledge

DO NOT FORGET THE PASS. Hallway rules require fresh passes for every student when they leave the classroom.

With only nine weeks left in the school year, new rules haunt the hallways. No longer are students permitted to leave the classroom without a freshly-inked pass to go to the restroom, another teacher’s classroom, or to an office. Only one student can be out of the classroom at a time, and if they do leave, they have to leave a cell phone or a bag. These rules were implemented to keep students from doing bad things outside of the classroom. The new rules are redundant and time-consuming for teachers and students.

If a student needs to use the restroom, they have to leave a valuable as an insurance policy to ensure their return. But, that is not a solution to keep students from roaming hallways or leaving school.  For one, when students are required to leave their phones with the teacher before they go to the restroom, that is a liability issue. Suppose something were to happen to the phone, it could arguably be the teacher’s fault, but the school is also not responsible for any stolen or broken property. That is a risk that some people cannot afford to take.  Secondly, a student is required to leave a bag in the classroom, but with girls, sometimes bags are a necessity. But schools cannot discriminate against the boys by letting them take their bags too. The argument is valid in the sense that girls do need their bags sometimes to go to the restroom, but with how the world is now, the school would have to let the boys take their bags too, which would defeat the whole purpose of the newly implemented rule.

The rules also state that teachers are not allowed to let students leave for the first and last ten minutes of class. Most argue that this is actually the best time to leave for the bathroom. The reason being, in the first ten minutes of class, teachers are trying to take attendance, fix attendance and set up the last touches for the lesson. Then in the last ten minutes, the lesson is winding down to an end and teachers are beginning to prepare for the next class.  So, this would make the perfect time to be out of the classroom for the bathroom or other reasons.  This would also help ensure the student does not miss any instruction or material they would need for the class.

Now, teachers also have to use specific passes for students. Freshman teachers have purple passes. Sophomore, junior and senior teachers have blue passes. CTE teachers have yellow passes. The hallway passes are a good idea to understand where each student is going and to keep track of them, but the new rule states that a hall pass has to be written each time for every student, every time they leave the room. For most teachers that is especially hard when they have to stop lecturing to write a pass for students since they cannot leave before the start of the class-long lecture, or after they finish because of the ten-minute rule.  Most teachers would have the student sign out, take a basic hallway pass and leave. When there are so many parts to how to create a pass and give one to a student, it becomes too much for the teachers to try to juggle all together. With all the things they have to do for COVID-19, preparing and teaching lesson plans and now stopping to write every student a different hall pass, it is getting overwhelming for teachers.

The rules were set with good intentions, but in the end, they are just unnecessary and came in at the wrong time. With only nine weeks left in the school year, they really should not have introduced new rules. The good thing about the creation of these rules is that the administration really were trying to keep misbehaving students from doing bad things. This is something that needs to happen. But in doing so, the school is punishing the exemplary, as well as punishing the disobedient. Students need to better help the majority and make sure they abide by the rules, even if they do not agree with them.  Also, in order to help the rules flow better, they should let teachers have one reusable hallway pass or not require people to leave such important valuables.