In Your Opinion: FHS Students Should Be Treated With Respect

By Ariel Kaye.

Over the past three years as a student at Franklin High School I have never dreaded school as much as I did these past two days. I was so excited for one of the most memorable days of this year – the first day of my senior year. On the first day, instead of being greeted with a warm welcome, I was immediately yelled at to put my phone away. At this time it was about 7:20 AM, which means that school had not even STARTED yet and I was being yelled at. Already, before I had even stepped foot into my first class, I was not very happy. It was mind-boggling to me that on the first day of school the administrators were so concerned with cracking down on the rules that they could not even welcome us back.

Once the Events Lobby started to become crowded as more people arrived, all of the Seniors and Freshman were crowded into the lunch room where we stood for about 10 minutes until we were released. School starts at 7:27 a.m. and my class did not even BEGIN until 7:45 a.m. (on the first day). Due to Mrs. Clark’s “solution” to minimize traffic, valuable time was taken away from the classroom by trying to release everybody at different times. On the second day of school all of the seniors were ushered into the gym and forced to sit on the bleachers until 7:35 a.m. when we were released. My class did not begin until 7:45 a.m.. Since this new rule has been applied to school I have lost about 20 minutes of my education EACH DAY. I find it absolutely insane to think that this is okay with Mrs. Clark but it obviously is because she’s allowing it to happen. I think that it’s a pretty obvious issue that we are being “allowed” to go to our classes AFTER SCHOOL STARTS.

In general, releasing each grade one at a time and forcing them all in one direction like cattle is going to cause a problem. Before Mrs. Clark implemented these rules there were issues because the hallways are small and some people don’t understand that you should walk on the right side of the hallway. Now, these problems have become even more prevalent because an entire class (about 600 students) is expected to travel all in the same direction at one time. At least before in the morning there were people coming in and slowly filtering to their classes via multiple stairwells but now hundreds of people are being concentrated to one area. Not only does this make getting to class that much harder and longer, it is a major safety issue. I have been in the middle of these crowds before and honestly if I were to pass out or something there would be absolutely no way to get to me. The hallways are just too crowded with this new system and it’s a safety issue.

When 800 people are all sent to one area to scan into lunch there is going to be a major hold up. Not only do the computers/ scanners constantly stop working, it takes students a while to filter into the cafeteria through one door that is about 6 feet wide, if that. On the first day of school I was standing in the stairwell for 5 minutes waiting to get into the cafeteria. By the time I had sat down I had lost about 7 minutes of my lunch time because of this new rule. We already get released early from lunch but now I was losing even more of MY free time. This “fix” is anything but that and needs to be taken away immediately; it simply does not work at all.

Furthermore, during lunch block (block 4) there are designated stairwells to going up and going down. Once again this takes forever for an entire lunch to exit through one door and file into the hallway where we are limited to specific stairwells. Even if our classroom is right near the cafeteria we are forced to walk around the entire school because there is a barricade cutting off the hallway. To walk around the entire school is an extreme waste of time and has caused many students to be late, which affects them negatively due to the strict tardy policy that our school has. On the first day of school me and my friend were going up the “up stairwell” when we were suddenly being yelled at by Mrs. Clark for “not listening to instructions” and “deliberately walking past other stairwells in order to take this one”. We tried to explain to her that we were not in the wrong stairwell but she was not having it. She showed us absolutely no respect and was very aggressive. There were not a lot of people in the stairwell so what issue were we even causing? Not only were we being yelled at for no reason, because she held us up we were late to our class and had to explain ourselves. I once again think it’s ridiculous that Mrs. Clark went out of her way to yell at us for GOING UP THE STAIRS and think that she needs to attend to more pressing matters within the school.

Another issue is the dress code that is being strictly enforced on the high school. No ripped jeans, no leggings, no shorts or skirts past a certain length, and no sweatpants; so basically we are limited to regular jeans. I’m sorry that people can’t control themselves if they see my knee through the rips in my pants but I shouldn’t have to change the way I love to dress because of other people. Or if people can’t control themselves if I wear leggings that cover my entire lower body. Or if people are offended when I like to dress comfortably in sweat pants and don’t look “presentable”. My choice of clothing should not be sexualized. It is not my responsibly to alter the way I dress because others can’t control themselves. If I want to wear something such as ripped jeans I should be encouraged to do that because that’s the clothing that I am comfortable in. I should not have to walk into school and be afraid that an administrator is going to look at my body and think that I am wearing inappropriate clothing when it is perfectly acceptable anywhere else. I’ve also heard that uggs are no longer allowed because they’re informal… Is someone going to buy me other shoes to wear or?? Overall it’s not my issue that other people can’t control themselves and it shouldn’t be put on me to change the way I dress so that other don’t have to worry about it. While the people who are being dress coded are stressing out, the people who aren’t can concentrate on other things. Overall the dress code is so ridiculous and if I wanted to be told what to wear I would go to a school that has uniforms.

Another ridiculous new rule is that the back doors are to be locked at 7:20 a.m. everyday…… This is so insane to me…. School starts at 7:27 but I’m supposed to be there at 7:20? If you want me there at 7:20 have school start then, stop making up these dumb rules. Everyone parks in the back parking lot so if we are “late” we have to walk all the way around the building making us even more late. If I come through those back doors at 7:24 I can make it to my class but when I have to walk around the entire perimeter of the building I am going to he so late. What if it is raining outside or it’s cold? Am I expected to get drenched and then walk into the freezing cold school; I don’t think so. The school should supply me with an umbrella if that’s the case I’m not going to go out and buy things because of my schools irrelevant rules.

The cellphone policy has to be altered. I shouldn’t have to keep my phone away during lunch, which is my free time, when I’m in the hallways, and before school has even started. Its 2016, it is absolutely ridiculous to say that I can’t use my phone especially on my own time and for educational purposes in the classroom.

The new rules that are aimed towards athletes. Athletes are not allowed to come into school after 8 a.m. because if they do they can’t participate in practice or games. Athletes also can’t fail a test the week of a game because if they do they can’t participate in it. I have no words for that rule… Like I don’t even know what to say… If the athlete is not failing the class they should be allowed to play in their games; when and if an athlete is failing their class THEN actions can be taken to HELP them not PUNISH them. Furthermore, students who are not athletes are not punished in some way the week of them failing their test so why should student athletes?

Lastly, I don’t see the issue with having food and drinks in school, specifically Dunkin Donuts (or coffee in general) which many people like to bring to school. I personally get migraines and there are specific things I do to help them and coffee usually helps and now the fact that I can’t even bring it into school leaves me with a migraine having to sit through 6 hour long classes. I also like to eat throughout the day because it gives me energy so I think that being able to snack a little bit won’t harm anyone. I just think that the rule is not doing anyone any favors or fixing anything.

Overall, Mrs. Clark is trying to fix problems that aren’t even problems. The dress code should be enforced but not to this ridiculous extent. We should not be punished for having our phones out during our free time. We should not get into trouble for bringing drinks into the school. The restrictive routes and blocked off hallways are safety hazards and it has caused more traffic and causes more students to be late than ever before. We are in high school, a place where we are supposed to grow and mature but instead we are simultaneously being treated like 5 year olds and delinquents. The whole school should not be treated as a maximum security prison because of the actions of few; we are a public school where young adults attend and we should be treated with such respect.

Ariel Kaye is an FHS senior.

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