Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

New year, new policies, new frustrations

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Weekly Word: Each week, the Lasso Editorial Board will comment on an issue that is relevant to the students of George Mason High School. We strive to present a student-oriented opinion about topics big and small that matter to the student body.

Weeklyword“Can’t Stop the Feeling” played over the loudspeakers on the morning of the first day of school, and no one could stop the feeling that last year’s seniors had caused some irreversible damage on senior policies, but it turns out the entire school will be affected with a complete overhaul of student behavior and attendance policies. Yay.

At the Senior Class Conversation on Wednesday, September 7, administrators spoke to the seniors about certain policies that are either new or being enforced this year.

The Failure for Non Attendance rule will supposedly be strictly enforced this year, and administration has some pretty heavy restrictions to ensure the policy is followed. For example, students cannot take a college visit unless it has been pre-approved by their teachers. So yeah, more legwork if you want to skip class using this excuse, but if we’re being honest here, the way seniors got out of class was by using the 18-year-old declaration and “doctor’s appointments.”

Each unexcused absence is worthy of a detention. With this in mind, senior Sarah Lubnow asked a very important question at the class conversation on Wednesday.

“So, if I want to go on a college visit, I have to serve a detention?”

Principal Hills’ response? Silence, followed by: “Well, we’ll talk about it. We certainly don’t want to penalize you for taking a college visit.”

The message was mixed. Administrators emphasized that they want seniors to take college visits, yet also emphasize that college visits are unexcused absences that could result in detention.

Also, phones in class are now apparently worthy of a referral, according to the Student Handbook which says, “Teachers who confiscate a phone should write a referral to administration who will assign an appropriate consequence.”

The Lasso believes that having phones in class is really not that serious, and we as students all know that during a test or instructional class time, it shouldn’t be in use. Part of learning how to be an adult is realizing when your technology should and should not be out.

We sympathize with teachers who have freshmen who are all too excited to have their phones in class, but some of us are 18 years old. Upperclassmen, if not sophomores, and the occasional freshman, know when technology should be used. Just let each teacher have their own policy because this one is simply ridiculous.

This year, students will notice the “Excel” sheets up in every classroom that encourage us to excel in mind, body, and character. Teachers have a similar chart titled the “Student Behavior Support Process” that includes how students should be disciplined. The chart is great in the sense that it is very clear about procedures and what is teacher versus administration managed. The only thing is that the wording is just so…patronizing.

Let’s say you are unprepared for class (a teacher-managed offense) and it is the first time you have done so. The teacher is supposed to “redirect and re-explain the expectation in a caring and concerned tone,” according to the behavior support process sheet. A caring and concerned tone. Did they really have to specify the tone that the teacher must use? As if talking to me in a caring and concerned tone about not bringing a pencil to class will have a different result than just telling me, “Hey, bring a pencil to class next time.”

Positive reinforcement is a big thing this year, as if that will transform our student body into one loving family that will address each other in a caring and concerned tone. There was nothing wrong with how teachers were addressing us before and this way just patronizes us. This isn’t middle school. We’re being prepared for adulthood here, try treating us like adults.

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About the Contributor
Anything written by the Lasso Editorial Board represents the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. The 2022-23 Editorial Board is made up of: Stella Turner ('23), Isabel Costa ('23), Clara Kasik ('23), and Elizabeth Creed ('23).