Walls Implements New Hall Pass Policy
Hall pass lanyard / Credits: Eve Rebora
As of this year, students are now required to obtain a teacher-signed hall pass before leaving any class. If they attempt to walk the halls without a pass, security guards will instruct them to return to class. Security guard Myron Bell explained that the reason behind this policy is that students wandering hallways during class time has become an issue at Walls. Administration did not provide comment.
Although the majority of Walls students take responsibly-timed breaks from class, a few have taken advantage of their ability to walk out of class whenever. One student said that some “have abused the system and skipped classes” so “it makes sense the system has been put in place”
However, “that doesn’t change the fact that it’s annoying,” they said. Several students reflected similar sentiments, describing hall passes as “irritating” and “a hassle.” Even Ms. McGlennon, who has taught at SWW for eight years, said that the new hall pass policy is “kind of a pain in the neck.”
However, she qualified that she didn’t take issue with the policy. She said, “if we have kids who can’t be trusted to just go to the bathroom and come back, I guess it’s what we have to do.”
Regardless, the new policy is a big shift for students and staff. In the past, many teachers have let students leave the class without needing to ask permission. This new policy leaves students with a lot less freedom, and for some, a lot more time in class.
Though the policy was designed to keep students focused, for some, it has in some ways become a distraction that takes away from lesson time. Every time students need to leave, the teacher must pause class to provide a signature. The passes distributed by administration require the student’s name, teacher, signature, time, and destination. However, many teachers have found a more efficient method: generic reusable passes that students can simply grab when they want to leave class.
While this method may be more efficient, it lessens the effectiveness of passes. Without specific information such as departure time, security guards have no way of determining how long students have been out of class.
Further, security does not routinely inspect hall passes. Students may wander from floor to floor, unlikely to be stopped. Often, any scrap of paper in hand is sufficient, which security assumes to be an official pass.
Overall the new hall pass policy, although disruptive, is a first step towards reducing excessive time out of class. Although disfavored by the general student body, school security stands by the policy. “If the kids don’t like it, that means it’s working,” said Officer Bell.