Young people have always driven societal change, whether it be protesting the Vietnam War, spearheading the Civil Rights Movement, or creating Black Lives Matter.
WCHS students are among those of the newest generation to fight for change. Students participated in March for Our Lives, one of the largest protests in American history. Many also intern for local politicians and DC-based governmental organizations.
Clearly, Gen Z is willing and able to carry this country forward. Young people throughout history have proven time and time again why the older generation should trust them with change, yet adults continue to be skeptical.
Does WCHS really trust its students to do the right thing?
At WCHS, students are required to carry “hall passes” when they leave the classroom, and are required to submit a note from their teacher whenever they enter the library during class periods.
Other schools are more restrictive and require students to use a sign out sheet when they use the restroom. Some even forbid students from leaving campus during lunch, and dole out detentions and suspensions for skipping school.
Measures like these and like the ones at WCHS exist for a reason. Schools need to make sure that students are indeed attending class and must also be able to account for their students’ whereabouts in times of emergency.
However, the half-baked way in which student attendance is regulated at this sschooltudent would do very little in a time of real emergency.
“Hall pass” usage is not enforced; teachers and security personnel patrolling the halls do not check students walking past for hall passes. When it comes to library passes, students have found ways to exploit the system by having a “buddy” teacher from an unrelated period or past school year sign a pass for them.
Students regularly skip class and face no immediate consequences like detention or suspension. Individuals have even been known to leave school following the conclusion of fire drills.
Ultimately, students who skip school and fail to use their time wisely are onlyjust sabotaging themselves. Teachers certainly recognize that they can’t micromanage thirty students every class period, so the school administration should realize that it’s impossible to do the same with 2,000 teenagers on a daily basis.
WCHS should get rid of policies like the hall pass and the library pass all together. Students at this school understand that they are responsible for their education; that’s why it’s one of the best public schools in the country.
Students trust WCHS to give them the tools they need to move society forward. So WCHS, please trust the students.