School handbook rules hold controversy


Shannon McCabe & Lauren Shank, Reporter

It is a given that school rules are appropriate to have in order to keep students up to the standard to which they are held, but are some school rules really necessary? The student handbook was designed to give students a base of what they are expected to do and what they are expected not to do.

In the Big Spring High School student handbook there are many rules that students are expected to follow. Many of these school rules are a given to know right from wrong, but there are some school rules that are just plain ridiculous. First and foremost, students must have a physician’s note to carry a water bottle. This rule can be baffling because many students carry water bottles throughout the day at school, and yet no one tends to question it. To add to that, the high school has added The Growler which allows students to buy food and drinks to snack on during the school day. If the student handbook states that students cannot carry a water bottle without a physician’s note, then how can students buy drinks from the Growler?

Another odd school rule that is stated in the student handbook is that coats and jackets that are intended to be worn outdoors cannot be worn inside the school building. Now it is reasonable to say that students should not be wearing winter coats in school during the warmer weather months, but what about when it gets cold? Classroom temperatures can variate to where some rooms are rather warm and some rooms are rather cold. Therefore, many students carry or wear their jackets and coats throughout the school day and are not told to take them off. Is it necessary to have a school rule where students cannot bundle up if they get cold in school? Students should be able to dress warmly in school if they are cold in order to function fully and not be focusing on being cold.

In addition to not being able to wear coats and jackets indoors, the student handbook states that tight clothing is not permitted to be worn in school. If you ask any student, it is indeed a hard task to find clothing that is not tight. Also, all clothing fits students differently and it is hard to expect students to not wear any clothing that is tight around their skin. Although people may blame society for this, it is a fact the style has changed from the 1960’s until now and it will continue to change as new generations form. Tight clothing is impossible to avoid if it is expected for students to dress presentable to school. You cannot wear jeans, or most shirts without them being skin tight. So why have a school rule that makes it hard for students to abide by? For example, a lot of teenager girls like to wear leggings to school because they are known to be comfortable but they are also skin tight.             

One rule in the 2016-17 handbook, is not allowing fashion contact lenses. These would be lenses that change the eye color or add a symbol into the eye These contacts will not affect a student’s ability to learn, but is it found as a distraction, or a way to edit with one’s identity. According to the FDA, fashion contact lenses and normal contact lenses can still be harmful to the eye depending on the material and if the lenses are not prescribed by a professional doctor. Not allowing fashion contact lenses could either be due to health issues or identity. Either way, the necessity to this rule is slim.

In most classes, a student can forget a binder, book, or even homework assignment and get a warning. No detentions or penalties are assigned. In gym classes now, a student who forgets their uniform one time gets an automatic 1 hour detention.The problem with this rule is the “what if’s,” including, a bad day, still in the washing machine, flustered in the morning, and even not knowing if the student was in gym or the classroom that day.  Most students can casually forget something small, and deserving an immediate detention is harsh. Students are human who can make mistakes.

Another rule is that students may not circle the parking lot. This means that driving around the parking lot is not permitted. Yes, there is a caution due to it being suspicious, holding up traffic, and possibly creating an accident. There is also the possibility that a newly permitted driver is learning how to drive and needs to circle the parking lot so that when they enter a real road, it is safer for all drivers. Also, calling in other resources, such as the Newville Police, could cause an annoyance to community members and the resources. The time that would be spent on this issue for the act of circling the parking lot would be troublesome and pointless.

Rules in the handbook should be simplified. This will relieve administrators, allow students to understand the rules, and allow less loopholes. Also, more students would follow simplified rules because of understanding them and not feeling too restricted. A safe environment is expected by parents and students, which can be achieved without having silly rules.