Administration implements new hall rules in effort to stop JUULing on campus

September 10, 2018 — by Ananya Vadlakonda and Christine Zhang

Students face stricter rules on campus regarding the use of cell phones during class and bathroom policies.

Following a steep increase in JUULing on campus last year, the administration began the school year with several new policies aimed to better monitor students outside of the classroom.
Each classroom has been given its own set of flip-flops, color-coded by area on campus, which students must take with them when they use the restroom. Additionally, the administration has strictly prohibited students from bringing their cell phones with them when leaving the classroom during class time.
According to assistant principal Brian Thompson, the administration tightened up the rules to keep students from disrupting other classes by socializing with their friends during class time in the bathrooms, or by JUULing and vaping, which were problems noticed by the administration last year. 
Thompson said the color-coded flip-flops are intended to keep students in their designated area. He also justified the prohibition of students taking their cell phones with them out of class with his observation of students texting or calling their friends to encourage them to leave their classes as well. 
“We’ve had students go outside the classroom and wait outside the door, texting their friends to meet them,” Thompson said.
Although Thompson is aware of the loopholes in the new system, he said he would rather focus his energy on rebuilding a healthy relationship between the students and administration. 
“Consequences and loopholes aren’t really something that I’m interested in,” he said. “I’m interested in trust, and I think last year our student body violated the trust of the adults on this campus.” 
In particular, Thompson said that many students severely infringed upon the administration’s trust by JUULing in the school bathrooms. He hopes that in the near future, the administration will be able to go back to simply trusting students to make good decisions for themselves. He acknowledges that even with the new rules, students are still able to sneak JUULs into the bathrooms, but he feels that it is more of an individual choice on the student’s part that the school cannot completely control. 
“If people really want to try and do something against the rules, they can always try and do it,” Thompson said. “I would hope our students would decide to make the right choice for our school community, knowing that [JUULing] is a problem.” 
Nonetheless, the new policies have faced some backlash from many students.
Junior Ava Riaziat said she found it “insulting” to treat high schoolers like this and doesn’t agree with the administration’s new efforts in combating the JUULing problem.
“They clearly haven’t thought it all the way through,” Riaziat said. “If there’s a medical emergency in the bathroom, we can’t really do anything without our phones, and if there’s a school shooting, we can’t get in touch with our parents.”
However, Thompson said the administration works with families of students with medical conditions who have to keep their phones with them at all times. He believes the new system has already proved effective. 
“We have less kids out of class than we’ve ever had,” he said. “We have kids returning to class in a timely fashion, and we’re going to continue to monitor the hallways and make sure that students are in class.” 
1 view this week