Student of the Month
  • Rose Van Berkum, Colleen Ney, Alex Neubauer, Peyton Hess, Talan Mathus, Crystal Roeper Makriako, Grace Basler, Connor Murray, Natasha Jones, Kamiah Drones, Braylen Ballard, James Perkins, Tyley Palmer, Gabriel Lopez, Stevie Myers, Lamia Linson.
The student news source of St. Charles High School

SCHS Now

The student news source of St. Charles High School

SCHS Now

The student news source of St. Charles High School

SCHS Now

Staff Profile
Violet Lewis
Violet Lewis
Staff Writer

Violet Lewis is a sophomore at St. Charles High School. This is her first year on newspaper, but she has previous experience in journalism classes here at SCHS. Taking Journalism last year opened the opportunities...

Madeline Kratzer
Madeline Kratzer
Copy Editor

Madeline (Maddie) Kratzer is a senior who has pledged herself to the St. Charles High Newspaper cause for three years in a row. Maddie likes a warm, humid climate full of rocks to bask on and the occasional...

Melanie Mota-Luis
Melanie Mota-Luis
Staff Writer

Melanie Mota-Luis is a senior at St. Charles High School. When Melanie obtains some free time, she likes to walk to her best friend's home. She loves listening to 80s music, especially her favorite band...

Opinion: The Policies at School are not Working

The rules with bathrooms and phones have a slim chance of working
Opinion: The Policies at School are not Working

An overwhelming majority of students at SCHS disliked the choice to close down 13 of the 16 bathrooms at the end of first semester. Students were restricted to the upper and lower commons bathroom, as well as the gym bathroom. I believe this, and other new policies, cause more harm to the lives of students than it did to help them. 

SCHS is a huge school, it’s insane to ask every single student to be able to make it to the middle of the school to use the bathroom and back in under seven minutes when they are on the outer edges. The language classrooms are located in the basement of C building, where bathrooms are right next door. This is because they are far from any others, almost in their own little section of the school. The time it takes for a student to go from the basement of C averages around eight-ten minutes, which is over the allotted time given by the e-hall passes. 

In my opinion, the ban on bathrooms does not help the school. Students have to take a hike to get to a bathroom, even if one is located right outside the classroom. The goal of it was to help the vaping crisis, which I agree, is bad. Principal Ted Happel stated that, “I know it didn’t work…99 percent of the population just wants to use the bathroom and not have to deal with all the students that just want to hang out in the bathroom.” 

I will be honest, the bathroom changes, like the idea behind the whole thing, failed.

— Ted Happel

It makes it worse when one of them is out of order, or is just locked for the day due to a problem caused by a few to several students. Students have to walk farther to find an open bathroom. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if bathrooms that were purposely located near classrooms were open to be used. 

A solution to this problem is hard to come up with. Strict adults make sneaky kids, and if they want to smoke, they will find a way to. Happel said, “Kids that we’ve caught, it’s not like we can stop them, they’ll just go back and do it again…” But as hard as it is to come up with a good solution, shutting down the bathrooms is not the answer the school needs. It just creates a cramped environment, where students are often missing important class time to walk to the middle of the school and back. I know that I, and countless others, do not enjoy the long stroll I have to take during my class time to find a bathroom. 

Parents, including my own, were also not pleased with this solution when it was first introduced. It’s a crazy plan to lock bathrooms, especially if they are increasing the time when students are not in class. It feels like being in class for the longest amount of time should be more important to the school. There will always be people going against the rules, but there has got to be a better way to stop them. Something that could work is allowing one bathroom in each building to be open along with the Commons, or having counseling for people who are addicted to help with the addiction rather than suspending them. Another thing could be instead of sending kids to ISS, to send them to a class at Success to help with their addiction. Suspending them is obviously not helping, and being told to just stop it doesn’t make people stop. Happel stated that, “If you get caught with drugs you have to go over to success for 10 days…but you also have to go to counseling with your family for 90 days and they do random drug tests and such, but nothing really stops it.”

Another policy was recently announced that it was being implemented next year. A ban on phones. As a graduating student, this policy will not affect me personally, but several of my friends are juniors and underclassmen, and I don’t think it is a good plan. I agree that phones are a very big deal in schools, and can be a cause of distraction in several cases, but a ban on them could be a complete disaster. Students often need that connection to their parents or family members in case something happens. Natural disasters such as tornados or heavy storms, a fire, or a danger in the school are just a few unexpected things that could happen, and I know I would want to be in contact with my mom. 

Parents’ connections to the school only go so far, and if students are needing to be evacuated and the event is on the news and parents are seeing it, the majority of them are going to be trying to make sure their child is okay. Would we be allowed to use our phones then? Or would we still get in trouble for wanting contact with our families? Calling the school as a whole would not be a good solution as the school cannot locate every student at a moment’s notice for hundreds of parents. Happel said, “If there is an emergency during class, teachers will let you go down to the office to contact your parents, and the office will let you use your phone. The real goal of it is to stop people from being on their phones constantly during class.”

I think it is a good change, lots of students are on their phones constantly, and that’s not the majority but it’s a good chunk.

— Ted Happel

Another issue is sickness. The nurses office will only send students home for a fever or if they are actively vomiting. My body gets sick, but I rarely vomit or get a fever. Commonly, my temperature drops. Because that does not count as a fever, the most the nurse can do is let me lay down for a little while. My body not having a fever doesn’t make me any less sick, and being able to communicate with my mother without having to go through a teacher is important to me. My mother, and I’m sure many others, do not know the timing of our schedules. Asking them to learn them just so they can contact their student during a passing period is an unreasonable thing to ask. 

A whole other problem I see with this is that electronics are a huge part of society as a whole today, not just in schools. The school Chromebooks ban lots of websites, to the point where they are almost unusable in most situations. College websites, educational videos, even recipes for food classes are banned. Several of my teachers throughout high school have used our phones in the classroom environment to help with research projects, as so many websites are blocked. “They went in for security reasons and blocked everything, but things need to be able to be unblocked faster. We can’t do this unless tech figures out a better way to unblock websites,” Happel stated. As for AIP, I would say about 80 percent of my AIP’s I do not have homework or classwork to do. I spend my AIP’s either wasting time scrolling through my phone, or sleeping. When I have stuff to get done, I do what needs to be done. 

Student athletes and students that are in activities are also facing issues with this new policy. As an athlete myself, my coaches would often send through group chats in apps if practice was postponed or canceled, details for important events, or just things I needed to know during the day before coming to practice at 2:30 pm. Students that participate in assemblies also need that communication. The drummers that march down the hall communicate when to head down and who is doing what, the dancers communicate what to bring and where to put it before everyone gets to the gym, as do the cheerleaders. All of these people communicate where to meet. These are conversations that cannot happen over email and are unable to happen in person. 

There are also classes that use their phone such as Newspaper or Yearbook for interviews. These classes would be hard to accomplish without phones to use to be able to interview other students. PE classes also sometimes use their phones to track steps or other things to help cover the curriculum during class. “We are working with situations like that, because in PE they use them to track steps and things…We are trying to put together frequently asked questions sheets for students and teachers to help,” Happel said.

This poll has ended.

Do you think the policies are helping SCHS?

Loading...

Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Both policies are being implemented in hopes of a positive outcome. I do believe that in some cases, these do have good things come from them, but the majority of outcomes are negative both in actions and attitude. As I said, strict adults create sneaky kids. People will find loopholes, which will just create more rules and regulations. It’s a circle. Policies are created, people find loopholes, more policies are created. I do not see this phone ban ending well for anyone, but hey, I guess you can wear hats now.

 

More to Discover
Skip to content