New Year New Rules

Elizabeth Medina, Contributing Writer

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Over the summer, a group of administrators including Mr. Deputy, Mr. Garza, Mrs. Knoop and Ms. Spatola met to discuss rule changes for the upcoming school year. With the purpose of making fair and clear rules, the administrators worked on created guidelines regarding cell phone use and attendance.

As of this year, phones are not permitted to be used in between classes. If a student is caught using his or her phone outside of the lunchroom, it will be confiscated and sent to the office, where the student will be able to pick it up at the end of the day with a warning. A second infraction results in the taking of the phone as well as a detention. A third violation has the same consequences as the second, with the addition of parents being notified, and a fourth results in confiscation, a referral, a demerit, a parent conference and the possibility of the student losing cell phone privileges all together.

Regarding attendance, tardies are being tallied. The front office marks students late  and gives them a pass for class, should they arrive between 7:45 and 8:05 AM. Students arriving after 8:05 AM, however, are not permitted to attend their first period, and are consequently marked absent for that class. Four tardies results in a thirty-minute detention, eight warrants an hour detention and parent notification and twelve merits a referral, a demerit, Saturday School, and a possible parent meeting. Both the cell phone infractions and the tardies reset at the beginning of the semester.

“Clear structure makes students feel safe and supported,” said Mrs. Knoop, dean of personal growth,. The administration feels that the new rules for cell phones and attendance are necessary for the school to run smoothly. “They’re in the best interest of the students,” said Mrs. Knoop.

These rules have had a positive impact on the teachers. They can focus more on teaching rather than on worrying about kids coming late to class or being on their phones. “It’s not a new rule, it’s an old rule that was dropped because there was no dean last year. Kids weren’t allowed to have phones at all the year before,” said math teacher Ms. Carter. “It’s is much better in the classroom now that it is back.”

“I think that with the tardies, having to stay in the lunchroom just keep you from learning,” said junior Lauren Slifer. Regarding the rules about phones, senior Savannah Thomas said “I think they’re good because they don’t cause distractions. No one is walking between classes on their phones—they’re actually talking to people. I think the new rules are good in that they (phones) can only be used at lunch.”

The administration feels that the rules have been successful as of yet. And they are not planning to change them unless they stop working or something huge comes up. “We are confident in them now and think they’re working. We like them at the moment,” said Mrs. Knoop.

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