School Policies Irk CHS Students


Illustration by Kevin Ho.

The start of school comes every year without fail. New classes, loads of homework and the numerous “con- tracts” students mindlessly sign on the first week of school in order to get out of homeroom and on with their day.

Every year, a Code of Conduct is handed out, in addition to an Anti-Bul- lying policy and an Anti-Drug policy. Students sign multiple forms stating that they will refrain from breaking the dress code, coming to school under the influence, bullying others, and other prohibited behaviors. How many of these students read the forms that they sign? Do these contracts really hold stu- dents to their word?

These rules are important; they are the groundwork for an orderly and pro- ductive school. But if students do not know the rules they sign up to follow, they won’t know what the consequenc- es to their actions will be.

In order for these rules to mean something to students, administration should place more of an emphasis on these rules and their subsequent pun- ishments in order for the rules to hold real weight with students and parents. According to Principal Joan Benz, stu- dents sign behavioral forms and tend to ignore the rules and consequences until they apply to them.

According to a poll of 61 CHS stu- dents, 83 percent said that they did not read the MCPS code of conduct or other behavior contracts that they signed the first week of school. If students do not read the forms that they are contractual- ly letting themselves follow, what good

are those contracts? In order for students to be aware of the consequences to their actions and follow their agreements, they must actually know what they are actually agreeing to.

Students most likely do not read the forms handed out to them during the first week of school for a multitude of different reasons. Year after year, they are given the same forms. All of these forms more or less state the same thing, and students have grown bored and tired of reading this repeated message, and take no notice of potential conse- quences because they have no reason to.

So, students simply scribble their signa- ture on to these forms and move on with their day.

But what if a student breaks a rule that was mentioned on the forms that they hastily signed?

According to Principal Joan Benz, these contracts are signed by parents and students in order to show that both parties have agreed to the rules and are willing to handle the consequences of those actions.

Of course there are consequences to poor actions, but rules are a two way street. Students must know consequenc- es to their actions, and additionally, administration must distribute punishments on a regular basis. If punishments to student’s actions are administered regularly and according to the MCPS Code of Conduct, the established rules will hold more weight with students, and will prevent them from committing poor behaviors in the future.

According to Benz, signing these be- havioral contracts will prepare students for the real world where they must sign contracts for things such as jobs. While no one is denying that contracts are an important part of adult life, they are stressed more in the adult world than they are here at CHS. If these forms are meant to serve as an example for later in life, they must be treated as such-with real consequences.

In order for these rules to mean some- thing to administration should place more of an emphasis on these rules and their subsequent punishments.

Rules are important, and no one is denying that. But in order for these rules to hold their importance, a few things must change. First, both CHS and MCPS should come up with ways to make the delivery of these rules less boring and routine. Whether that be through a new video, an interactive presentation or simplified pamphlets, there should be new and interactive ways for students to access the rules.

CHS, let’s start off our school year right. The rules aren’t changing, but our actions can. If the school does their part and we do ours, we will have a success- ful year.