New school policies punish students unwarrantly, merit system more suited

Students+face+new%2C+extreme+punishments+including+having+phones+taken+away+and+immediate+Saturday+detentions.+

Graphic by Hannah Conn ’23

Students face new, extreme punishments including having phones taken away and immediate Saturday detentions.

Upon entering my first Connections class of the year, I expected to relax, greet my Connections teacher and talk about the new school year. Instead, we were read the new policy changes regarding our cell phones and the new punishments for the closed-campus rule. These new changes set my class off. The first offense for leaving campus has the immediate penalty of weekend detentions? Being caught with your phone in class could mean you get stripped of your phone for the whole day? While these policies may not exactly be new to Staples, the disciplinary measures that come with them are newly changed and too extreme.

Now, students will find phone holder slots in each classroom. When entering the class, students are required to place their phones into an assigned slot where they will stay for the remainder of the period.

As students, we deserve to be treated maturely by the administration so that we can be the developed and responsible young adults that Staples intends to help us become.”

— Hannah Conn '23

There has always been an unspoken rule of not using technology unwarrantly in class and Staples students, widely, have respected this rule for years. So, introducing these new phone holders so abruptly at the start of the school year seems too harsh.

Instead, students should have a chance to show the teachers that they can refrain from using their devices, like a merit system. When students show that they cannot be responsible, the phone holders should be used. This would give Staples students the opportunity to show that we can respect rules of the classroom without immediate punishment.

While Staples has always been a closed campus, meaning students cannot leave during the day without due cause, punishments have never been this harsh. This rule is important for school safety and for keeping students in class, however, while breaking this rule should result in punishment, instantly issuing four-hour Saturday detentions feels extremely punitive.

The disciplinary track for leaving school without a pass should instead follow a buildable system, such as the one we use with juniors who park in senior spots. Warnings, then in-school suspensions and finally, if the student persists in leaving campus, Saturday detentions would much better suit this rule-breaking.

All of these new, disciplinary measures taken by the school are overly controlling of the student body and punish them much too harshly. As students, we deserve to be treated maturely by the administration so that we can be the developed and responsible young adults that Staples intends to help us become.