Enforced Pass Rules Creating Barren Halls at SHS

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New pass rules are creating empty hallways during H-Block

Lily Grazioso, Staff Writer

Ever since Principal Robert Wargo’s departure on January 24th, SHS students have seen an increase in H Block security. A recent survey asked students if they had seen obvious changes in the strictness of hall security. 75% reported they could see a significant difference. 

According to interim principal Dr. Lisa Maguire, this difference is all for the benefit of the students, and to prevent a lack of supervision in the halls: “In the last couple of weeks before we tightened up on passes, there were literally hundreds of kids walking the hallways,” she said. “That is not an appropriate use of H Block time, as it is unsupervised.” 

Many students were shocked by the sudden change in supervision. Junior Chloë Vitali brought up a point supported by many other students: “To have [an] administrator crackdown on rules that haven’t been properly followed with no warning is going to cause chaos and push back.” While she understands the need for safety, Vitali is against the radical change, as it has caused an immediate backlash among the student body. 

In addition, teachers are requiring students to have hall passes when using the restroom or water bubbler, the students are left in confusion by the severity of this rule. Junior Evan Esker has seen teachers search out students in the halls without passes. He said he “remember[ed] this one teacher come into [his] class saying ‘I’ve been walking up and down these halls looking for kids without passes.’” Similar to Vitali, he understands the purpose of the rule, but feels “intentionally searching for kids without passes is a little extreme.”

Whether you need a stamp in order to go to the bathroom or a pass in the form of a piece of scrap wood, it seems the crackdown comes from the administration—as opposed to homeroom teachers. Sophomore Frankie Minich has a good relationship with his homeroom teacher and reports “he isn’t strict about [him] leaving homeroom.” But junior Maggie Ayers brings up another point: “If teachers had been consistent about H Block rules from the beginning, this would be less of an issue.” 

It seems the policy’s effect on an individual student depends on both the homeroom teacher, along with which part of the building their homeroom is located in, as there may be more or less hall monitoring. 

Nevertheless, though this system may prohibit students from hanging out with their friends on some occasions, at least most administrators like Dr. Maguire are not out to catch and punish students: According to Maguire, “We are not stopping people from going where they need to be—they just need to have a pass!”