Those Yellow Hall Passes

Kayla Hill and Aarieal Ammons-Morris

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You’re walking towards the bathroom, but a crowded hallway prevents you from walking there. When you arrive, the late bell rings, but you still have to use the bathroom. After you’re finished, you head to class, but a teacher stops you, asking for a hall pass. You don’t have one. Sound familiar? Though tardies should have led to detention previously, it is now enforced with the new “sweeper” system. Now any random teacher that finds you in the hallway can write you up for lunch detention and walk you back to class. All this because you had to use the bathroom…

English teacher Robin Dauma stated in an interview with Patriot Pages reporters Kyla Diel and Destini Grant that she “has always used hall passes like this… but I will admit that if a student came in, put their stuff down, and asked to use the restroom before the tardy bell, I’d just send them on without a pass. So, the shift is inconvenient, for me, due to the “sweeping” practice because I know I can’t do that anymore.” 

This school year, Bob Jones has created a stricter way of getting kids to class on time. Administrators presented a new hall policy called Hall Sweeps after going to a summer conference to learn how to make the staff and the environment in the school better. They discovered that the rate of tardies was too high, so they sought out a new policy that would help lower the tardy rates. Hall sweeps are conducted by teachers on their planning block and they roam the hallways right after the bell rings, carrying detention slips and looking for stragglers to write up who are not in class. The punishment for being late is silent lunch detention with no phone. The staff believes it’ll encourage students to get to class on time.

Students have mixed views about the policy. Junior David Reynolds stated, “I don’t feel too strongly about hall passes, but I dislike sweeps. It is effective but not convenient.” On the other hand, some students like Isabella Yarbrough believed it is effective and argued that “it stops people from skipping.”

However, the administrators feel strongly that it’s more effective and getting students to class faster. Mr. Runnion, an assistant principal, pointed out that last year there were “students in the halls with no real sense of urgency.” This year, there are fewer than five students in the halls after the bell. It seems to be working since the rate for tardies has decreased this year.

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