School rules often unecessary

Dan Fabi ('12)/Eastside staff

To survive in the high school world, students must follow the rules. Do no interrupt class by yelling or speaking out of turn to keep the class moving smoothly; do not start fights to keep the hallways clean from violence or interruption; and definitely do not wear a hat to…uh…wait, why can’t you wear a hat?

Here lies the problem. It seems as though more and more teachers do not have reasons as to why they are enforcing some of the rules other than the fact that it is in the school standards: a list of guidelines that everyone skims through once and then throws away. The famous saying that is always associated with certain public principles, “it’s for your own good,” is starting to be dismissed. Unless the hat is some fashion debacle, the absence of it from someone’s attire is not going to make his or her day anymore progressive.

Some of the faculty claims that the reasons students cannot wear a hat are that students can hide dangerous or cheat sheets in them. Teachers do not realize that if a student wants to cheat, a simple use of a jean pocket or backpack compartment would suffice without having an uncomfortable and very noticeable bump on the top of his or her covered head.

Although a hat can be a very small part of creative expression, the privilege is nominally given in the sense that Cherry Hill East is not a uniform school. Twenty-four percent of public schools in the United States require uniforms and the number is increasing every year. Cherry Hill East should allow the expression of its students’ creativity no matter how miniscule the change in attire may seem.

Phones and mp3 players are also very frowned upon in the Cherry Hill East community, which began a few years ago. Before the 2008-2009 school year, electronics were allowed in class. With so many unlicensed students becoming involved in school, a cell phone should be encouraged to sustain the safety of the student and his or her ride schedule. Pasco County’s Wiregrass Ranch High School allows the use of cell phones and justifies the use by allowing their students to use electronics for educational purposes in this technologic era we live in.

Teachers worry, however, that the sight of phones or iPods could result in students not paying attention, thus not receiving the education they are in school for.

Students, however, are responsible for their own work ethic. East cannot hold a student’s hand throughout his or her entire career at East. Students must learn to make their own decisions to make progress in an informal environment.

In college, electronics are allowed as long as they do not disrupt the class. Students should be able to use electronics while paying attention in class.

Lateness is also something that is self-disciplined in college where students experience the difficulties of being late without a set punishment for it. Lateness is a severe interference in school productivity, obviously, considering the punishment for it does not allow for any questioning whatsoever. If a student is late six times throughout the entire school year, he or she must attend a day of detention. After those six lates, the penalties increase.

This rule would be slightly reasonable if it allowed some form of explanation from the student being subject to the punishment. There are an infinite amount of reasons for why a student would be late and some of those include positions in which the student is not at fault such as a friend being late to pick him or her up or helping a younger sibling get ready. With a straight penalty, there is no room for any reasoning or understanding from the administration.

High school is a world of rules and guidelines so of course there are going to be some that may or may not be completely ridiculous. It is up to the administration, however, to the rid the high school world of these rules so that life can move much more smoothly. Certain students may take advantage of this privilege but those students must learn from their actions and understand their own responsibility in the educational world.