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Hall Passes: Disrupting Class or Maintaining it?

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This year, Fenwick implemented a new system for students leaving class. Anytime a student has to use the restroom or get a drink of water, their teacher has to fill out a hall pass. If a student does not bring a pass with them, he or she will receive a JUG, that is, if they get caught. Evidently, many people, students and teachers alike, have different opinions on this subject.
I spoke with six members of the sophomore class about this subject. All six of them were against the use of hall passes. The reason? They see them as a waste of time. In fact, two of the students said that their teachers hate writing the passes. It wastes the teachers’ time because they have to stop class, find a pass, and fill it out, which take time away from a valuable class discussion or a lecture.
Given this distraction, teachers often do not let students leave to use the restroom or go to the water fountain. This, in some scenarios, is merely a minor inconvenience, but sometimes, it is extreme for a student who might have an emergency. Students also are placed at risk by their teachers who do not give them a pass but are allowed to leave the classroom because the student could still receive a JUG.
One student suggested that teachers should use a universal pass for each class allowing students to manage needs without disrupting the class.
I also asked two of my teachers their opinions on hall passes. History teacher, Mr. McGuire, says that he agrees with the new hall pass policy. He believes that they were implemented so that students do not take advantage of being out of class and disappear from class without notice. New chemistry teacher, Mr. Morehouse, says although hall passes are a big change for Fenwick, they can be very useful if a teacher uses them correctly and efficiently.
Pre-calculus and geometry teacher Mr. Kribs has attempted to devise his own efficient system regarding the hall passes. He does this in order to minimize the amount of passes he must write for his students. Each semester, he allows three hall passes for each student. That way, he is able to comfortably say no to a student who has exceeded their limit of hall passes for the present semester.
So far, his process has worked, because students will wait for times when they actually need hall passes rather than leisurely asking for one whenever they deem fit. This also teaches students the value of the rare occurences when teachers will take time out of their class to write them a pass.
Though many see the passes as inconviences in day to day routines, they are proving to be successful in completing the tasks for which they were created. Fewer students leave class and remain more focused throughout the school day. However, this does not hinder them from being a source of frustration for students and teachers alike.
So while the passes may be keeping students in class more, having a universal hall pass for each classroom would balance the needs of the administration, the teachers, and the students. The administration would see that fewer students wander aimlessly throughout the halls and take advantage of kind and lenient teachers. Finally, teachers would not be distracted from their lectures or class plans, nor would other students be disrupted during class time.

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Hall Passes: Disrupting Class or Maintaining it?