New Hall Pass System Prompts Frustration

Various+students+and+teachers+agree+that+the+policy+has+room+for+improvement.

Sophie An Kingsbury Lee

Various students and teachers agree that the policy has room for improvement.

Hannah Erickson, Contributing Writer

On November 10th, just a few days before the end of the first quarter, the student deans announced a new, more strict hall pass policy. The new guidelines, which include color-coded hall passes and a ten-minute restriction on library visits, were introduced in Community Meeting and met with resistance and skepticism from students and teachers alike. Susie VanBlaricum, Dean of Learning Community L, defended the policy, telling the Register Forum, “These passes are just a visual way to show where students should be. They should mean less stress for teachers and students.” 

Each of the four areas in the school have been assigned a color for passes so that students roaming too far from their classroom will be more easily identified. In theory, this system should work to minimize the number of students in the hallways during class, and help keep track of how much class students miss. 

Another cause for aggravation from students is the drastically shortened time for students to visit the library. Dean Susie Espinosa suggested that some students had abused the previous policy. She explained to the Register Forum, “We still want the library to be a welcoming space, it just can’t be a place to cut class.” 

Some teachers agree that this new approach may cause more trouble than it is worth.”

For many students, the new measures are unexpected and, many think, unwarranted. “It’s incredibly stupid,” Maddox Lee ’25 told the Register Forum. Maddie Nohrnberg ’25 added “I used to be able to go down to the library and charge my Chromebook. Now I don’t have enough time.” 

Some teachers agree that this new approach may cause more trouble than it is worth. Physics teacher Mr. Tal SebellShavit told the Register Forum, “Going to the bathroom does not need to be an interruption of class.” History teacher Mr. Benji Cohen agreed, saying “I’d rather have faith that most folks want to be in class…than to stop the momentum of class to write a pass.” 

Visiting the Teen Health Center adds an additional level of difficulty. The policy requires students to get a hall pass from their classroom teacher and then a second “red pass” from their Learning Community in order to go to the health center. 

This policy was implemented to “reduce the number of students requesting to go to the Teen Health Center for non-health related issues and concerns,” CPS Director of Communications Sujata Wycoff told the Register Forum

If a student leaves their class their attendance needs to be adjusted so we know who we can help support.”

For many students, this can mean having to walk across campus twice just to get permission to go down to the nurse: “It is so difficult and so much effort,” Roza Biewald ’24 complained to the Register Forum. Kavita Trivedi ’23 agreed with Biewald, telling the Register Forum, “Walking from all my classes to my LC, which is on the fourth floor, to get a pass… to the teen health center is really annoying when you are in pain.” 

Dean Maria DiClemente backed the policy: “If a student leaves their class their attendance needs to be adjusted so we know who we can help support.” She also explained that if every teacher were able to send students to the Teen Health Center, there would be no way to keep track of how many people were there. 

The next few months will reveal the implications of the new hall pass policy, whether they be positive or negative. For now, many in the community are doubtful. “The policy right now doesn’t have the human touch,” Sebell Shavit said, “We’re all different and one size doesn’t fit all.”

 

This piece also appears in our November 2021 print edition.