Published on Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Davis Downey
There have been many changes in the general rules around this school, with the dress code being one of the most significant. The constant nagging of teachers for students to tuck in their shirts in the hallways and the dozens of students sent to SAC for an unshaven face. Seeing students being told to remove their headphones or lose them. While these rules had good intentions, they led to all the wrong results.
Teenagers are more likely to resist change than adapt to it, especially when such change is unexpected and unwanted. If these dress code changes were implemented in stages, they wouldn’t have been so heavily resisted or ignored. No matter how many announcements are made, no matter how many dress code checks are performed, forcing this down our throats is never going to yield the result the school board wants.
If the idea behind these changes was to promote a more professional environment, watching a teacher chase a student down the hallway berating them incessantly to tuck in their shirt, isn’t my idea of professionalism. Instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, implement a uniform policy. I’m not saying for one second that I’d prefer a uniform, but if the school board wanted actual change then that would’ve worked a lot better. Instead of forcing students to change their clothes to fit the rules, having a simple uniform that you aren’t allowed to change is easier to enforce.
Along with the dress code changes, other policy differences, like not allowing any headphones or iPods, doesn’t make any sense. Students allowed to use phones during lunch, but not an iPod? That isn’t consistent at all. If the school is going to ban one kind of technology, why not just ban all of it?
There have been many changes to classes and grading as well. For instance, teachers are being required to teach from bell to bell, without a single break in between. This doesn’t facilitate learning, it just leads to less actual work being done. Before this year, students could learn the lesson they needed to and then have a good fifteen minutes to actually practice what they learned. This year, though, as soon as they finish learning, they’re off to another class. How on earth are students supposed to have time to process all this knowledge?
In the same vein, this new policy of being able to re-make major grades is just mind numbingly useless. As a student, I can completely bomb a test knowing ahead of time that I’ll have an opportunity to try again. All motivation to study is gone.
All in all, the motivation behind the recent changes may have had the best intentions, but the implementation wasn’t right. When it comes to dress code, a uniform would work a lot better. The grading policy has become much too lenient and encourages slacking. Students shouldn’t have the ability to re-take tests, and class periods would be much more productive if there was just a little more downtime.