Returning to the pass system


Marelena Halikias

Teachers give out passes by signing students’ planners in a section titled “Hallway Passport”. They are required to write the date, time, class, and their signature.

Over the past few weeks, teachers have been going back to enforcing the pass book rule much stronger than they have for the past three years it has been in place. The rule basically says that if a student needs to go into the hallway to fill their water bottle, go to the bathroom, or go to another teacher’s room, they need to fill their assignment notebook and take it with them in the hall.

The assignment notebook policy has always been a rule at Central but, it was never enforced to this level. I have had substitutes and a select number of teachers ask me to fill out my planner if I wanted to go into the hall, but I have never had this many teachers insisting for me to do so. Furthermore, this is the first time I have ever been stopped in the hall and been asked where my planner/pass was. Many students have also been reporting that they had interactions with hall monitors for the first time this year.

At first, I thought that taking my assignment notebook out every time I had to go to the hall and have the teacher sign it was excessive, but after talking to Principal Walsh and hearing his defense of the rule, it began to make a lot of sense to me. When students are roaming the hallways without any indication that they have been given permission to do so, hall monitors would have a lot of trouble keeping up with all the students. However, if students hold a passbook that can’t be put into a pocket or be hidden in a hand, monitors can clearly see that you have been given permission to be there.

“There is no reason not to want to follow this rule,” Principal Walsh said. “It is an easy and convenient way to ensure that students are where they are supposed to be.”

Marelena Halikias
With the new pass system in place, many students are stopped by hall monitors asking to see their pass. Mr. Taylor, hall monitor, is pictured above checking a student’s planner for their pass.

There are also many other benefits to using the passbook that can easily be overlooked. Many teachers use yellow paper passes to give to students to enter the halls, but the school has to spend money to replenish those all the time; therefore, using the resources that we have already been given saves the school’s money. Rather than wasting more paper printing out tedious passes, the agenda- that has already been paid for by the students- can be an easy substitute.

With the assignment notebook, however, there comes a disadvantage for students. The passes in our agendas are essentially a record of how many times we left the classroom and in which periods, so teachers are now more aware of how many times students leave class during that period, making them less inclined to continue to give the student permission. For people with strict bathroom schedules that go at the same time every day, this really turns into a problem.

“I don’t really think it serves any purpose,” said Bilal Yousef, junior. “Honestly, it doesn’t affect me in a major way, but it is just kind of an annoyance to take out my agenda and have it signed any time I want to leave.”

Overlooking this one aspect though, the passes can really be beneficial for the administration to keep track of students and save some money for the school. Although students may find it a pain, and with some good reason, it isn’t as big of a deal as we are making it out to be.

“We aren’t trying to change the practice, we are just trying to get everyone on the same page,” Principal Walsh said.