New Pass Policy Aims to Improve School Safety

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New Pass Policy Aims to Improve School Safety

By Sarah Waters, News & Academics Editor

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Aiming to keep hallways clear and students safe, the dean’s office rolled out a new pass policy starting the first day of school.

The new policy prevents students from leaving class for the first five and last five minutes of class, and it prohibits teachers from issuing passes out of class during the first two weeks of school. Passes from the dean’s office and student services will function as they have in the past.

The new approach also asks teachers to be cognizant of how often students are using the bathroom and to give students a pass each time they leave.

According to dean Dr. Amy Tucker, the change is intended to tackle an issue that has been problematic for years.

“Ever since I’ve been here, hallways have always been a topic of conversation,” Tucker said. “We really wanted to figure out a way to make sure the hallways were clear. It’s a safety issue. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, we can’t find you. When kids walk by and teachers are trying to teach, it can also be a disruption issue.”

Although it’s still early in the school year, the policy seems to be yielding good results.

“If I could compare the hallways these past few days to the last two and a half years, they’re definitely quieter,” Tucker said. “We have more adults in their doorways, as well as more adults out in the hallways, so it’s definitely been a lot easier to manage.”

“I think the new policy has been a success,” assistant principal of operations Steven Parnther said. “When you walk down the hallways, there haven’t been as many students in the halls. Our goal has been to ensure that students were maximizing instructional time. If they’re in class more, they’re getting more instruction, which helps their grades as well. We also wanted to alleviate any disruptions.”

Despite the success, some students feel the change has been drastic and may prevent students from their free periods when they have a legitimate reason.

“I feel the new policies in place overreached in terms of safety a bit. I don’t see the necessity in some of the policy, such as controlling who gets to leave their lunch or study hall when those periods are designated free,” senior Adrian Recinto said.

“I think it’s unnecessarily rigid,” senior Libby de Klerk said. “While it might reduce the number of students out in the hallway who shouldn’t be, it more so causes issues and difficulties for all other students. It’s difficult to meet with counselors, get books or a temporary ID from the bookstore, or even go to the bathroom.”

While many students share the same concerns, the policy isn’t intended to be restrictive. Beginning Mon. Aug. 26, teachers will be able to write students passes as needed.

“We don’t see as many students in the hallway now, except students with a pass,” Parnther said. “The key thing is if you have a pass, then you’re good to go.”