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Locker blocker

{DESIGN BY FIONA ARMSTRONG-PAVLIK}

Current rules prevent students from entering closed hallways during lunches , regardless of their ability to stay quiet. As children in elementary school, we were forced to walk single file along the silver lines, hands at our side, never permitted to talk or even wave to friends in the hallways. Teachers reprimanded children for using a “level two” talking voice in the hallway or veering from the straight line of the class. The teachers’ overzealous enforcement of these rules caused us to create petitions and have heated debates over lunches and recesses about how to fight the arbitrary rules we had to follow. We were relieved to finally escape the iron clutches of foolish hallway rules when we went to junior high - or so we thought. At West, we have three lunches determined by the floor of your fourth period class. During the different lunch shifts, only one hallway is open to walk and eat on. It is common sense to keep the floors that still have class quiet and

distraction-free, but what happens if you have to run to your locker on a “closed” floor during lunch to grab a last-minute math assignment you forgot to do the night before? The majority of the time, you get stopped 10 feet from your locker and are forced to turn around and go back to the designated lunch floor empty-handed and full of frustration. Most students at West are respectful and can handle walking quietly in hallways, but administrators take no chances by strictly enforcing this rule for all students, no matter what their credentials may be. Granted, there are some students who cannot be trusted to be quiet, but this is the reason we have the supervisors. We respect the hallway monitors for being consistent with every student, but if a student is not being disruptive to a class, then they should be permitted to quickly do

what they have to do and go back to lunch. Increasing the severity of the punishment for disruptive students and allowing respectful students in the hallway may be an option for changing up the way lunches work, but it does run the risk of increasing the gray area of discretion for the faculty that has to enforces these rules. The way things are now allows for zero misunderstandings and no room for argument with the monitors which is both good and bad. The main goal is to keep the hallways distraction-free for classes that are in session, and when hall monitors raise their voice at a student it creates more noise than quietly going to his or her locker would in the first place. In high school, we are supposed to be preparing for the harsh realities of the real world, but sometimes we are still treated like children. In life

outside of school, we have to learn to be respectful during appropriate times, and if we fail to meet these expectations, there are severe consequences. Instead of reverting to elementary school-like rules, we should be allowed more freedom. If this liberty is taken of advantage of or abused, then administrators have the right to take the privilege away. Until then, we should be given the chance to act like adults by making the right decisions.

Is the rule preventing students from entering other hallways needed?

21-3

The WSS editorial board voted against the rule.

Guest opinion: Please wear a helmet

BY KATHY BRESNAHAN PE teacher

Only two short years ago, our West side community was shattered by the death of Caroline Found. It was a ‘one in a million’ accident that took her life. It left all of us that loved and respected her grief-stricken beyond words. Caroline was riding a moped and not wearing a helmet. As is so often the case, everyone vowed to always wear a helmet whether on a bike, moped or motorcycle. However, as time passes, our memories fade, and good intentions fall to the wayside. Every time I see anyone riding a moped without a helmet, particularly one of our students, it hurts.

Going home from practice the other night, I followed one of our students riding his moped and weaving in and out of traffic. Not only was he driving erratically, but he was not wearing a helmet. I vowed I would talk to him when I had the chance. I wondered if his parents knew that he did not wear a helmet. Four blocks later, I came upon a moped/car accident. The young woman was lying unresponsive in the middle of the street. The driver of the car that hit her was sobbing; the victim’s companion that was riding with her cradled her head and kept calling her name. Her moped was lying in the street with the engine still running. I was overcome with emotion as I thought about how our lives can change forever in just a split second. As she lay prone in the middle of Benton Street, I searched for her pulse, and I did not think there

was any chance she would pull through. The next day I found out that the young woman survived the accident. She was lucky. Her story had a happy ending. Please – if you ride a bicycle, moped or motorcycle – wear your helmet. When you ride a moped or motorcycle, it is not a question of ‘if you will put it to the ground’ someday but rather ‘when.’ Your only protection is a helmet. Do it for yourself, your family and your friends.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR may be sent to fionaarmstrongpavlik@gmail. com (letters should not exceed 300 words). Each letter must include the full name of the author and year of graduation (if written by a student). The WSS reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. GUEST OPINIONS should be sent to fionaarmstrongpavlik@gmail. com and should be approximately 300-400 words. Please include your full name and phone number.

EQUITY STATEMENT

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, martial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability, or socioeconomic programs, activities, or employment practices. If you believe you have (or your child has) been discriminated against or treated unjustly at your school, please contact the Equity Director, Ross Wilburn, at 509 Dubuque Street, 319-688-1000.

EDITORIAL POLICY

The West Side Story reflects the views of the staff and does not represent the school administration, faculty or student body. Guest articles may be accepted to represent an additional point of view or as a part of a collection of reader contributions. The staff will carefully scrutinize all reader submissions. All ads are subject to approval by the business staff. Those that are libelous, obscene or plainly offensive may be rejected. The West Side Story attempts to publish all letters, which must be signed, to the Editors, but may reject submissions due to space limitations, inaccuracy or poor quality. It is the responsibility of the opinion editor to verify authorship. Editors can make minor edits for the sake of clarity, length and grammatical correctness.

1980 – POLICE’S “DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME” WAS THE NUMBER ONE SONG ON U.K. MUSIC CHARTS. OPINION SEPTEMBER 2013 42

September 27, 2013  
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