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New hall sweep policy receives widespread approval from teachers, controversial among students

Laura+Schuhwerk%2C+Makerspace+poses+for+a+photo+illustration+of+her+conducting+a+hall+sweep+and+finding+a+student+hiding+in+between+two+sets+of+lockers.++Hall+sweeps+are+conducted+by+teachers+on+their+plan+period.
Laura Schuhwerk, Makerspace poses for a photo illustration of her conducting a hall sweep and finding a student hiding in between two sets of lockers.  Hall sweeps are conducted by teachers on their plan period.

Laura Schuhwerk, Makerspace poses for a photo illustration of her conducting a hall sweep and finding a student hiding in between two sets of lockers. Hall sweeps are conducted by teachers on their plan period.

Natalie O'Dell

Natalie O'Dell

Laura Schuhwerk, Makerspace poses for a photo illustration of her conducting a hall sweep and finding a student hiding in between two sets of lockers. Hall sweeps are conducted by teachers on their plan period.

Natalie O'Dell, Staff Writer

According to a new policy, hallways will be swept during class to collect students who are not in their classes. They will be taken to the cafeteria to be disciplined.  Consequences will be evaluated based on severity. Some punishments will include, (but not be limited to) Saturday school and in school suspension. The policy was implemented to cut down on high tardy rates.

“There’s some contention about the drastic measure of the hall sweep, which I do understand…we are going to do this help you hustle…to help make this a habit for you to get to class on time, for you to understand that you are here for one reason, and that is to learn –  anything else is extra,” said Marissa Moore, Dean of Students.

Moore says that the policy will be forgiving and students will have a chance to justify themselves.  “The goal is never to punish…our goal is that our students are where they’re supposed to be…there were two or three [students] who were checked into school because of an excused absence, and they were given a pass to go to class with our full apologies.  We’re not doing it to trap,”  Moore says.  To help make enforcement of the policy positive, she also wants to put emphasis on rewards for good behavior, such as parties for students with perfect attendance each month.

“We want to take that kind of approach to honor and recognize the ones who do come to class on time, but also to encourage other students,” said Moore.

“It is to convey the importance of timeliness..looking at our data from the past month of school it shows that tardies are out of control.”

Moore also plans to potentially have chronically late students prepare presentations about the importance of instructional time.  “We really do strive to do more things like that instead of just purely punitive discipline,” says Moore.

We want to take that kind of approach to honor and recognize the ones who do come to class on time, but also to encourage other students.”

— Marissa Moore, Dean of Students

Teachers seem to approve of the policy and think that it helps give students incentive to get to class on time. As Michelle Oyola, Communication Arts teacher puts it, teachers believe that the policy is “some sort of kick in the pants for kiddos because they’ve been struggling to get to class on time.”

“I think many times when you have an expectation, if you aren’t checking that the expectation is being met, students will fall under the expectation,” said Deanna Breeden, 6th Grade math teacher.

Reactions from students are more divided than that of teachers.  Some students, such as Adrian Wiley, senior, and Matthias Henning, senior, praise it for enforcing the importance of education while others such as Elijah Lawery, sophomore, Barbara Ewing, freshman and Alta Grant, 6th grader, claim that the administration is going to far and that it does not make sense because it takes the student’s class time, which they find contradictory to the purpose of the policy.

Students in favor of the policy argue that it will “cut down on the kids who just roam in the hallways and mess around” and will help student get a better education, says Wiley.  “This is a school.  This is not a playground, this is not recess.  We are here to get our education,” said Henning.

Students who oppose the policy argue that it will cause students to miss more class than they would otherwise in the process of the hall sweep and being evaluated. “if the administrators and principal allow the students to miss class, then the grades won’t be how they’re supposed to look, and then they have missed assignments because they won’t be in class,” said Grant.

Some worry that it will affect them personally. “I don’t want to be taken to the office for me just being late, and my family, and what they have going on,” said Ewing.  “Just because a student is in the hallway doesn’t mean they’re up to something.”

Some of the student opposition, however, understands the administration’s decision. A few, like Elijah Lawery, sophomore, admit that despite the shortcomings of the policy, they think the policy will be effective.

“They want to do something with the kids who are late” said Lawery.

Some students, such as Ewing, think the policy will be short-lived and students will not care. “I think that’s going to make them not want to come to school,” said Ewing.

“I want to respect their feelings, but I also know that it’s for a greater good,” said Moore.

Ewing also proposed the idea of giving parental notices instead of hall sweeps to make sure students are not tardy.

“They’re the main ones [responsible for] driving kids to school, so maybe instead of talking to students, talk to parents.”

“It’s been helpful, and I hate that we’ve had to go there to make it helpful, but it really has been,” said Moore.

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The student news site of Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO
New hall sweep policy receives widespread approval from teachers, controversial among students