A student walks down the hallway, trying to sneak past the dean's office without being noticed for the second time in a row. They run down to their class, but are stopped in their tracks by a voice off in the distance. “How long have you been out of class for, and what class are you in?” the voice asks.
The student turns nervously, knowing full well that they have been out for at least 15 minutes. “Only a few minutes. I went to the bathroom, and I’m in room 208” he responds. “Go back to class, this is your last warning,” the dean says to the student, and he walks away. The student brushes the sweat off his forehead, and makes his way to the 500 Hallway, where his class actually is. This would have all been avoided if that student had a hall pass that told them what hallway they are supposed to be in.
Starting at the beginning of this school year, 2019-2020, the use of hall passes has been imposed at Eastern Christian High School. These hall passes are used to regulate how many students can be out of class, and to keep track of where students are throughout the day. Though these hall passes are good to have around, concerns and questions still arise about the idea of these hall passes, and the practicality of them.
Mrs. Tina Schwab, the freshman and sophomore Dean at Eastern Christian High School and math teacher, stated that, “We (ECHS) added hall passes to regulate how many people can leave class all at one time. It also helps any teachers or administrators in the hallway make sure that the student has permission to be out of class.” From a teacher's point of view, Mrs. Schwab appreciates the regularity of hall passes, and the procedure that the kids know not to leave class without them.
The reason that hall passes started this year is due to the service team and the deans talking and meeting over the summer. They discussed what they wanted to change and make better, and students being out of class was an issue that they had brought up. The hall passes ultimately help students be accountable for being out of class.
Though the hall passes have been successful this year, a few concerns have been brought up. One concern is that a lot of the hall passes are breaking, and the plastic is being ripped. The plastic can’t be a long term solution, so the school is going to be looking for something that can last longer than the current hall passes.
Another concern that appeared was the rumor that the hall passes are the reason why many students have gotten sick this school year. Senior Charles Phillips commented, “I have been sick this year more than any other year combined of high school. I think the hall passes are partially the problem.”
The high school’s nurse, Mrs. Diane DeRooy, says that she has heard that rumor, and she doesn’t totally disagree with it. “The beginning of the school year always has colds floating around the school. It’s the nature of many people being in one building every day. I did feel that there were more sick people than normal for a while at the beginning of the school year, but there is no way to prove if the hall passes were the cause of that or not. However, the lack of cleaning the hall passes was not helping,” Mrs. DeRooy explained.
The only way to make sure the hall passes are clean is if the regularity of cleaning them is imposed, and it has been. The hall passes are now cleaned frequently throughout the day, or at least at the end of the day.
While being asked how they felt about the hall passes, many students had mixed emotions. Freshman Jaden Ockert said that she liked the hall passes and the idea for them. Yet, Senior Grace Kellogg had a different opinion about them. “I think they are good in theory, however, I don’t think the execution of them has benefited anyone. The people who take 30 minute walks still take those walks. I think they have more drawbacks than they have benefits. I think it’s just another thing to worry about, and the old way that we did it was just fine,” Grace explained.
Junior Christiana Hubbard had a different opinion about them, as she isn’t opposed to the idea. “I understand the reason for them, and the intent is good and it makes sense, but they could have done it a better way. The hall passes are probably the dirtiest things in this school,” she stated.
Even though there have been some concerns about the hall passes, the hall passes have benefitted our school this year. The hall passes, in Mrs. DeRooy’s words, “enable faculty to see if the student is far from their classroom.”