Alterations of policies raise questions
Many in the student body are outraged by sudden and seemingly unjustified changes. Returning to campus this past month, the honeymoon period during the week of August 20 was instantly put to an end as students were met by changes and inconveniences such as construction in the parking lot, stricter rules regarding going into the parking lot during school hours, seniors’ lack of lockers and access to their cars, a third football coach lost within one year, construction on the track unfinished, a new system for tutorial, and tensions between students/teachers and administration.
As a group of journalists, we try to seek and print the truth. The truth is that students are bothered by many developments this season. We can understand why.
We have seen our peers shamefully escorted out of their fourth period classes to serve lunch detention for visiting the parking lot. We have watched Richard Schimke’s passionate speech on teachers facing pay cuts. We know the rumors of the causes for Larry Grant’s firing. And we witnessed a humble protest of parking lot restrictions fall through as students worried for their academic and athletic careers that could suffer at the hands of free speech.
But we urge students to practice patience.
Change is never easy, and although these issues may seem inconvenient and ill-advised at the moment, it would be ignorant to assume that administration had no reasoning behind their decisions. Over time, students will begin to settle into a routine, tensions will fade away, and this conflict will be in the past. Granted, it will be difficult to grow accustomed to this change, but the majority of those made are well within reason, and we hope that our peers will understand administration’s side as we have.
Traveling to the parking lot may seem like a basic freedom, but to administration, it is a liability. They have little control of what goes on past the campus, and while restricting students from the parking lot has caused unrest, it’s not unreasonable. In fact, this policy has been in place for long before this school year, the enforcement has just grown stronger.
“It wasn’t necessarily a change, just an emphasis on [this policy]: our parking lot rule has been there as far as we can look back in our student handbook,” said Principal Eric Martinez.
Despite the age of this rule, administration has been forgiving: consequences for not being aligned with some policies were not issued until the fourth week. As these consequences were first distributed, up to 20 students served a 15 minute lunch detention for this offense; now, a month into the school year, 5-7 students are serving for a parking lot violation.
This is simply one cause of unrest within the campus, but it serves as an example of others and they way they are being handled. There is always a bigger picture with these decisions and changes, and while it may be difficult to adjust, accommodations are made and the reasoning behind them stands.
We also urge students to speak up.
Students who wish to voice their opinions or better understand issues are encouraged, and can do so by meeting with Martinez, going to a board meeting, or relaying their concerns through leadership or elected officials.
The student body will always have a voice, and one that demands to be heard.
So have patience, because as bitter as it may seem, the aftertaste is sweet and well deserved.