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New Policies for Old Places


Restrooms and parking lot now off limits and strictly supervised

Six new school policies were implemented this year to improve student and staff safety, creating less opportunities for illegal activities on campus and correcting behavioral issues.

One of the most discussed new policy changes is the limitation of bathrooms during instructional time, with only the 400 wing and Gil Asa bathroom open when class is in session. Regulations mandate that security guards take post outside bathrooms to prevent students from vaping and violating their bathroom usage during class. The new changes on the bathrooms are long term and will most likely remain through all current Bearcats’ high school careers.

“The purpose of these policies is to increase student and staff safety and improve corrective interventions for students struggling to meet their educational, personal, and career goals,” Assistant Principal Dan Sharon said.

Admin installed crash bar alarms into the gate on the side and the front of the school, which sound loudly when opened during school hours — “to avoid outside threats from entering and allow students to leave in the event of emergency,” Sharon said.

New security cameras and surveillance have also been strengthened in hopes by staff that students are less likely to misbehave if they know that their actions are monitored.

All visitors and students are now required to enter and exit through the office during school hours, to ensure that visitors get passes and that students’ departures and arrivals are recorded. According to Sharon, this means that staff can more efficiently account for all students in the case of an emergency.

One of the most controversial policies from last year — the ban on parking lot entry during school hours — is being even more strictly enforced for the 2019-20 year. 

“I left my food in my truck one day and I was parked right in front, and they still wouldn’t let me get it. I didn’t eat that day which made me tired, and since I play sports, I had no energy at practice,” junior Chris Harris said. 

To help keep students out of the parking lot, the alarm bars were placed on the side gate, as well as staff monitoring the side gate and parking lot to ensure students leaving have passes. Anyone who violates the parking contract multiple times will have their vehicle towed. The reason this was put into place is to prevent students from loitering and participating in illegal activity, but also so that security can see if any suspicious persons are trespassing in the parking lot, and stop any problems before they get out of hand.

The last change put into effect at the beginning of this year is the new Academic Re-engagement Center (A.R.C.) program. This program resembles an in-class suspension, however, rather than making a student sit around and do their own work without resolving the problem, the ARC program is goal-based, giving students access to outlets to help with anger problems, drug addictions, and other interventions. 

These new changes will not be going away — most are permanent and “long overdue,” Sharon said. So far, “these policies have reduced off campus violations and unauthorized departure from campus, and have greatly reduced discipline infractions related to violations in restrooms and parking lots,” Sharon said.


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