Why the School Rules are Being Reinforced


Photo Courtesy of Hayley Otten

During work time in class, a student plays a game on their iPad instead of doing their work. This is one reason why the school has had to reinforce rules.

In a history class at Silver Creek High School, the teacher is giving a lecture but many students aren’t paying attention because they are on their phones. The teacher, frustrated by this, continues to teach. When she gives the class work-time, the class erupts in noise. The students aren’t doing their work, instead they are socializing and saving their classwork for home.
On February 14th, Silver Creek High School sent out their weekly report which included a set of rules that are currently being reinforced at the school. Two of which are the no phone rule and the signing out rule (where students must sign out of class before leaving). Silver Creek has had to incorporate these rules because students have not had the focus or respect that they’ve had in the past.
This year students have been using their phones in class too much and it’s become a major distraction that teachers are becoming annoyed with. Students have also been leaving the classrooms for extended periods of time and vandalizing school property. The behavior displayed by the students may be directly caused by quarantine. Being home allowed the students to do their work on their own time. If they wanted to be on their phone rather than do their work they could do just that. Being in class is very different because students are now expected to pay attention and do their work when it’s assigned.
“Our brains rewired where… [they] are thinking, if I’m at home I’m supposed to be doing school work,” says Kaelyn Vargo, an English teacher at Silver Creek High School.
High schoolers, after being isolated for so long, could be looking to get more of a social life at school and are opting to do their work at home instead. After all, that is what their brains have been wired to think.
Not only are the students becoming distracted in class, they are also leaving classrooms for long periods of time. When some students are out of class they are vandalizing the bathrooms. These actions are why the school is using the sign out sheet, and why bathrooms are closed.
“It makes me sad that people are defaming and defacing the bathrooms…” says Justelle Grandsaert, a History and Government teacher at Silver Creek High School. “I know it’s a small group of people but they aren’t thinking about the people who have to clean up the bathroom [or] who’s being affected by the [written] comments. It may seem constricting to many [but] I dont think it’s fair to the people who have to clean up bathrooms.”
This small group of students are not only affecting the people who are cleaning the bathrooms, but other students as well. Students are wandering about the school looking for open bathrooms because the closest bathrooms aren’t open.
“I had to walk around the school looking for a bathroom and spent half my lunch doing it because I have crutches and can’t walk, and when I got there, there was a whole line of girls waiting to use [the restroom],” said Erin Plaster, a Sophomore at Silver Creek.
Many students and staff members at the school have become frustrated with what has been going on. Especially after coming back to school from quarantine and so many things like students’ behavior being different. These rules are not meant to be a permanent fix to the misbehavior at Silver Creek High School though.
“I hope that maybe peer pressure among students [saying] that this isn’t ok will be the ultimate solution to this problem,” Grandsaert says.
The school’s staff are hopeful the reinforced rules will get kids to realize that their actions have consequences. If students start to follow the rules, the bathrooms will be able to open up faster, and the school will get back to normal sooner.