By: Natalie Stefankiewicz
As many of you know, our school has a new policy when leaving the classroom. In years past, and for as long as I’ve been attending North Warren, students have always used an agenda provided by the school to sign out for the bathroom. This year that system has completely changed. Each classroom now has two plastic bathroom passes, the room number engraved on each.
In the past, many students have abused their bathroom privileges, so our school decided this was a solution. By using these passes our school believes we will be able to keep track of who is out of each classroom and limit the number of people wandering the halls. This is definitely a good point, but these passes also have negatives to them.
In many rooms that I have classes in, there is now only one pass due to students being irresponsible and losing the other. This means that only one student can be out of the classroom at each time for that specific class.
The real question is, what do our students think is best for our school? While talking to some friends at lunch I got their personal opinions. When asked the question “What is your overall opinion on the new bathroom passes” Ava Tanis replied “I think the bathroom passes are effective, however, I prefer agendas.” When asked why she felt this way she replied “Agendas are much more sanitary than passing the same pass around to different students each period.”
When asking Alana Vitiello the same questions she replied, “I think the new passes have their purpose, but agendas are more sanitary and would work better. I would rather have an agenda because not only is it your own, but you don’t have to wait for the other people using the passes to get back to the classroom.” Erin Fowles agreed saying “I think that they are inconvenient and if you lose one in a classroom; then, only one person can go to the bathroom at a time.”
I got a different perspective when interviewing Ms. Ritchie, Dean of Students here at North Warren. She said “This year we formed a committee of staff members and we call it the Academic Review Committee. The committee looks at things that we want to change and gives us their opinion. This summer we met a bunch of times with this group of staff and one of the things I presented to them was the pass system. The way it came up was that the agenda books were causing the teachers a lot more disruptions during their classes. The kids would walk up to the teacher and hand them the book. This would lead the teacher to being interrupted. We want kids to be more independent, so the academic committee came up with an idea that students could just go up and log out somehow and grab something and leave. That’s how the plan was formed. I personally believe that the new passes are a less distracting method that teaches students responsibility and how to be independent.”
The majority of the answers I got from students were the same. The new bathroom passes are not as efficient, sanitary, and overall well liked compared to past systems. From what I collected from the teacher stand point is that these new bathroom passes are more efficient in the classroom. Although there are some positives to these new passes many students do not like how the new system works. Will the system ever change? This is something we won’t know for a while. If there are more positive results with the new passes then my prediction is that they will become permanent.