New hall pass policy creates student concerns


Talia Kouncar

Students walk through a school hallway between class periods.

A new hall pass policy was implemented by school administrators on Tuesday, Nov. 9.  This system is aimed at maximizing in-class instruction time by preventing students from wandering the halls during class periods.

Two bathroom passes were distributed to each classroom on Tuesday morning, and teachers received advanced notice the night before. The passes are full sheets of paper and color coded by floor; with pink for basement rooms, blue for the first floor, orange for the second floor and green for the third floor.

The policy requires students to carry their classroom’s color-coordinated hall pass to and from the bathroom with them to ensure that students who use the restroom or water fountains remain on the same level as their class. If students are found on a different floor, they will be escorted back to their classroom by either security or administration. However, the policy received mixed reactions.

“Well I think it’s pretty good because it allows for staff to keep track of the students easily since the signs are really conspicuous,” senior Gloria Moudou said. This viewpoint is shared by many teachers and administrators. “As a teacher, I feel like the new hall pass policy is a good thing because it allows for accountability for where students are, and it easily allows for teachers and administrators to be able to see that students are on the appropriate floor and not wandering around the hallways,” staff development and Theory of Knowledge teacher James Goldsmith said. “My hope is that it’s effective, but I don’t know how effective it’s gonna be unless teachers are consistent in enforcing them.”

Some students disagree with the long-term efficacy of the policy. “I don’t think they’ll be successful in keeping kids in class,” senior Amna Hasni said. “If some people are wandering the halls, that’s their problem and the rest of us shouldn’t have to use these [hall passes] just because of that. I feel like these passes are really micromanaging us and are just not a good idea,” sophomore Grace Finnegan said.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns are also being raised about cleanliness and convenience. “Bringing one pass into the bathroom is really not smart,” Finnegan said. Students cited how, within the few days of the policy’s implementation, they had already witnessed passes crumpled and stored on the bathroom floor or behind the sinks. “I don’t want to have to touch a gross thing that everyone is also touching when I go to the bathroom,” senior Myka Fromm said. Some have proposed alternatives, like attaching lanyards to the passes, decreasing their size, or attaching folders to the backs of bathroom stalls. “[Right now,] It’s unsanitary and kind of complicated,” senior Hannah Phillips said.

Another aspect of the new rule is that teachers are now prohibited from allowing more than one student out of the classroom at a time. “We are basically adults already, so there shouldn’t be a need to restrict us one at a time to go to the bathroom,” Fromm said.