Hall sweep policy inconsiderate of student situations creating a lose-lose scenario

Student+Emma+Kim+races+to+get+to+class+on+time+during+a+hall+sweep

Photo Courtesy of Victoria Dziasek

Student Emma Kim races to get to class on time during a hall sweep

Sami Saeed, Opinion Writer

A muffled voice over the intercom comes through, “we will be conducting a hall sweep.” Students dash through the halls, race up stairs and push past crowds to make it in time before the teacher slams a door in their face. A second too late and you are stuck with lunch detention. Randomly announced throughout the school day, hall sweeps are one of Richard Montgomery’s newest policies to keep students in class. However, even speed walking or full-on running is not enough to beat the bell, especially in a school the size of RM with four floors and outdoor portables. 

In the average class, each period lasts 45 minutes. Being late to class is one of the most notable situations that impedes this set period. Many teachers and administrators alike consider this as a restriction or a limitation of a student’s available time to learn, depending on how late the student is. However, the administration’s inconsiderate policy is misguided and does far more harm than good to both students and teachers alike.  

While this new method attempts to serve as a deterrent for late students, it fails at achieving this goal. “The point of hall sweeps is to be a surprise and randomly catch students. Though when students know hall sweeps are not being conducted, it can make students feel a sense of security and even encourage them to be late,” sophomore Nicolo Shultz said. 

The rule is made even more inefficient as locking classroom doors disrupts learning time for students instead of aiding it. “If students were to go into class a minute late it would not cause a problem. Though, students knocking and asking to be let in only causes more commotion,” Shultz said. Preventing a student from entering the classroom results in them missing valuable class instruction especially if this is a one-time occurrence. 

While hall sweeps aim to punish students who consistently skip class, it is actually detrimental to all students regardless of their own attendance record. “Getting from a math classroom on the third floor to a portable can oftentimes take longer than the allotted five minutes given to students to get to their class without running,” sophomore Jason Parks said.

This unveils a huge contradiction in the hall sweep policy that punishes students no matter what they do. The only way for many students to make it to class before the bell is to run even though administrators often yell at students in the hallways for doing so. “There are a multitude of reasons as to why students could be late to class, not only limited to skipping class. Hall sweeps get students in trouble unnecessarily,” freshman Humsa Tammeron said. In this flawed system, students always get the short end of the stick in certain circumstances.

Students also question the ethicality of giving detention for just being late a single time. “High school can be difficult for a lot of people, and adding pressure with detention can cause a lot of mental issues among students,” junior Noe Masurel said. Receiving detention for such a minuscule violation of school policy is unreasonable, and the county should be focused on helping students solve problems instead of blindly punishing them. 

Hall sweeps are completely misguided and fail to serve their only purpose. They impede upon vital learning time, put unnecessary pressure on students and make it impossible for students to not get in trouble. They even fail to do their only job in the first place, which is to deter students from being late. Administration should try their luck against the clock to understand the need to abolish this policy.