Murrah seniors David Rankin (left) and Iyana Tolliver (right). Photo by Ladarius Scott.
With the start of a new school year, new rules are inevitable. This was evident at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year when both rookie and veteran drivers of Murrah High School were hit with a new school policy. The Principal of Murrah High School, Dr. Buchanan made an announcement declaring that any students who were to arrive at the school after 8:45 AM would have to spend the remainder of their first block in school suspension (ISS). Enforcement of this rule causes students to miss valuable educational time that they won’t get back.
Many of the students sent to ISS are bothered by the policy because they often have legitimate reasons for their late arrivals. Two Murrah seniors, Iyana Tolliver and David Rankin, shared first hand experiences they have had with the newly placed policy, stating that “it is unnecessary” and “walking around the school makes them late.” Murrah’s policy requires late students to walk around the side of the school from the student parking lot to the front of the school instead of just going in the side door, which is more convenient. Many drivers feel the new policy, even though it applies to everybody, is specifically targeted at upperclassmen drivers. Madison Gray, a veteran driver who usually makes it to school around 8:00, has difficulty adjusting to the new policy simply because it is so late in the school year and a daily routine is already in place.
The ISS teacher, Mr. Nathaniel disagrees, stating, “The new policy teaches responsibility. When the students are taken to ISS they are given the opportunity to finish their work, most of the time. With so many spaces in ISS being occupied by late arrivers it can become an inconvenience for both the students and the teachers.”
The policy was put into place because of the excessive amount of drivers arriving to school late and being placed on the tardy list. Even though the policy only shaved ten minutes off of our time at school, it makes a big difference to drivers. Many students have already become accustomed to arriving to school at a certain time, and with it being changed so late in our highschool career it is a struggle to become adjusted to the change.
Valuable work time is missed, and therefore are put behind on work and forced to either catch up or fall behind. “It is impossible to catch them up, therefore their grades will suffer,” Mrs. Brierly, an AP English teacher, feels that students miss out on necessary work when they are not in class at the proper time. AP classes are affected a little more just because of the workload put on students. Missing out on one day of instruction can put students far behind, causing them to struggle or eventually fall behind on important class work.
Many driving students have yet to realize that the policy was put in place for their benefit. “It instills life values of being on time,” Dr. Brown, Assistant Principal, explains. She illustrates that the policy was created to insure the safety of the students and teachers. “There is simply not enough security staff to be at all entries of the school after teachers are off duty and have to start class, “ Dr. Brown continues to explain.
When we come to school, we are put in the care of the staff: they are responsible for anything that happens to us, which is why policies such as these are put into place. Students may not like it or find it difficult to adapt to the new rules put into place, but it is for the benefit and well-being of the students.