The Forgotten Rule of the Hall Pass

When teachers don’t enforce the rule, students take the blame

by Matthew Nuñez ’12
Staff Writer

You’ve probably done it before. As a matter of fact, most of us have wandered the hallways of McNamara without a pass. And even if, by a chance, you’ve passed a teacher on your way to the bathroom, odds are that they’ve done no more than politely acknowledge you. It seems as if teachers don’t care anymore if you’re in the halls without a pass. However, if you happen to wander upon the wrong teacher at the wrong time, you could end up with a yellow detention slip in your hands.

The rule of the hall pass is becoming less and less evident at McNamara, however, the student body may not be the ones to blame for breaking the rule. According to Carolyn Stevens, Dean of Students, the teachers aren’t enforcing the rule. The school handbook lists, “being in the hallway/locker room/parking lot without a pass,” as a behavior that negatively affects an orderly environment. Ms. Stevens described this by saying that, “Kids in the hallways have a tendency to disrupt classes,” and although it may be entertaining to some, it is a distraction to the learning environment.

This rule doesn’t seem to affect students or teachers, however. According to Ms. Stevens, teachers will simply tell the students to go, because it takes less time than actually filling out a pass for them. “No-one’s going to use them if they don’t enforce it,” said Nik Holder ’11, “During freshman year, I had to use passes for every class. Now, I don’t.” Mitchell Lowery ’12 feels the same way, “Roaming around school isn’t a high priority of teachers, so they just don’t worry about it.”

Tom Ballenger, social studies teacher, shared a teacher’s viewpoint, “I will question occasionally, but it’s hard to distinguish between senior privilege, office aids, and normal students.” Some teachers do enforce the pass rule, including Mr. Ballenger who signs an agenda book when sending students into the hallways, but other teachers will just tell the students to go. The school has official passes that teachers can use; they just need to simply request them from the main office.

The rule of the school pass has always been present at McNamara, but just over the past few years, teachers have become less aware of this. Even if your teachers don’t give you passes, be cautious of the system and rules before you wind up with the dreaded “yellow slip.”

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