Editorial: New rules leave many loose ends

New semester. New Policies. On Saturday, Jan. 7, the administration sent an email to all AT students about the implementation of new policies for this semester. Although the intentions of these policies are grounded in a desire to improve safety and security, The Torch editorial board believes that in many circumstances these policies fail to accomplish what they intend to do.
Throughout the first week there was talk all around the school about these new policies, and it wasn’t all positive to say the least. The students felt like some of these policies were not helpful or practical.
The first policy aministration put into effect was all students scanning their ID’s to access the school. Except this rule does not apply to all students. The scanning of ID does not always apply to students with zero hour or students that begin their day in the second hour. Students that arrive at 6:30 am are free to walk in the school without having to wait in line to access the building. In addition, students who arrive after first period aren’t required to scan into the building. When students are arriving through the bus line in Door 1, a build up of students are left in the cold while they wait for the line to thin out. Scanning IDs for the safety of the students makes sense only if this rule applies to students who enter the building for zero hour and second period. Of course everyone wants to feel safe in the school environment, but if this rule really was about ensuring the safety of students at all times they should see it all the way through. One apple can spoil the whole barrel and if one bad apple comes in during zero hour or after first period, then, much like the saying goes, the entire barrel (school) can be rotten.
Because there have been multiple bathroom incedents, the next rule that the administration is seeing through is a new bathroom protocol. This new rule is asking students to leave their phone in the classroom before they go to the restroom. Many bullying incidents are discovered because students take their phones to the restroom. While the report of bullying incidents might decrease, does that necessarily mean that the incidents are going down or that they are happening but the administration is just not finding out? Many students take their phone to the restroom to make important calls or send texts to their family members because we cannot use our phones inside the classroom. Not using our phone during class time or inside the classroom is completely acceptable but if students aren’t allowed to at any point when they might have to for an emergency, is that fair? Another problem that has been brought up from female AT students is if a student were to have a feminine emergency how would they handle it. Usually when that happens we shoot a text to a friend and the problem is solved, but how would that work if they aren’t allowed to take their phone to the restroom? They wouldn’t use the ones in the restroom because most of the time they are out of feminine products and the quality is honestly not that great. Now lastly, what were to happen if the school were to go on lockdown and a student gets trapped inside the restroom without their phone. It is a very extreme situation, but completely possible with the state of our world right now. The students wouldn’t be able to contact their families, call the police to let them know if they have any information on the lockdown, or even get any information to help keep themselves safe. That rule goes alongside with the bathroom doors being propped open or sometimes them being closed. Many students know what kind of trouble can be created inside the restroom, but it isn’t all AT students involved in those activities so why should every student get deprived of their privacy just because non rule following students do what they do? They have administration and teachers outside the restrooms to prevent that but they can also walk in the restroom from time to time to make sure nothing harmful is happening.
In conclusion, The Torch editorial board believes that many of the policies might be coming from the right place and for the right reasons but they are being executed the wrong way. There seems to be an urgency to lock down the building right now, but it is being very inconsistent and arbitrary. Because there’s so many loopholes in these policies The Editorial Board wonders if these policies were put into place maybe give a false sense of security to the AT students and family to make the school look so safe and secure with newly added policies, when in reality it might not be as secure as the administration might think or let on.

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