New Year, New Rules


Ava Burrows

Blue passes, sign out sheets, and speed bumps are all causing an uproar among the students at WHS. Besides new administration, students are noticing differences in the classroom, hallways, and even the parking lots.

Assistant Principal Mandy Batty notes that the only major change made this year is the use of passes to go anywhere other than the bathroom. Before COVID, passes were used, but they stopped being used during distance learning. This was because everything was already complicated enough and the passing of germs was a concern for most.

Students, on the other hand, think more has changed. Multiple students list passes, sign out sheets, school computers, speed bumps, no free Fridays and a stricter phone policy as new changes. However, administrators confirm that many of these aren’t new rules but an increase in enforcement of previous rules.

Some notice that teachers have tip-toed around rules in the past years due to COVID. Sophomore, Olivia Marelli says, “in the couple years after COVID, it seemed like teachers were staying out of our business when they were very much in our business before.” She goes on to say “it seems like they just felt bad for us at the time or something.”

Administration sees a lot of positives and few negatives, however students have seen almost all negatives. Senior Lea Polcaro says, “There seems to be overall frustration between the students and teachers.” She explains that the argument over these new rules has been a hot topic in some of her classes. Lexie Hullivan backs this up, she describes that “students and teachers argue over the new rules, even though it’s not the teachers decision at all.” Students agree that the rules are causing problems between our teachers and students.

Behavior enforcement is also happening outside the classroom. Speed bumps were added this year along the Miner Lane entrance to the school. Lea Polcaro says, “people are coming in and complaining about it almost every day at this point.” Although students confirm that they understand that there were people speeding through this way, there were still complaints. “I actually understand why they would do this for safety reasons and to get students to slow down,” Hullivan states. Hullivan will be among the new drivers this year, and she thinks “this will be a good thing for the new students that go the Miner Lane way to school.”

On the opposite side of things, the administrators believe that all these changes will create an “overall positive school climate” says Mandy Batty. Although rules resurfacing felt abrupt to students, it is recognized that they are doing a great job using the sign out sheets and passes. The purpose of the passes isn’t to inconvenience but to keep chaos limited. By the end of last year a lot of students would leave classes and gather with other students, and this was especially noticed by the third floor teachers.

Batty says, “We appreciate everyone being open to the changes” and she also describes that the only negative that’s “not really a negative” is that students think everything is more “strict,” but she assures everyone that this is not the intention. “It really is to create the environment here at WHS that is best for everyone.”