Chris Penza

Hall Passes at Frontier have become a hassle, are they really  “unsanitary” and “useless?” New rule and procedure changes raise concerns, and here’s what students and teachers have to say.

During the beginning of the 22-23 school year at Frontier, the administration decided that in past years both teachers and students had become too relaxed about hallway procedures. Students wandered around in the hallways aimlessly, skipping classes, all without permission from their teachers. To fix this, they implemented a new set of procedures that limit students’ access to the hallways. Every student who wants to leave class must take a pass with them to the bathroom or nurse. Additionally, if a student wants to go to another teacher’s PACE class, they will have already had to have received a pass allowing them access to the teacher’s room. If a teacher asks you if you have a pass and you don’t, you are subject to some form of punishment.

One student discussed their experiences with the new rules, “It’s not that bad, but having to take this little thing everywhere is annoying, and while I’m using the bathroom I have nowhere to set it. I’m sure this thing has just about every disease on it and I don’t want to touch it at all.” Concerns of sanitization seemed important to Frontier officials in the previous year with all the covid regulations, and regularly available hand sanitizer but these bathroom passes might just be a setback in the department of health and safety. This same student also told of their experience in PACE. “Once I was in PACE and I had to go to another teacher’s PACE class, but I didn’t have their class yet to ask for a pass, so my teacher let me go anyway. I guess I just don’t understand the point of a PACE pass if everyone will eventually have to go to a class that they haven’t even had yet and go anyway. I also haven’t ever got checked for a pass so carrying around the disgusting bathroom one is just annoying.”

These rules, however, don’t just affect the students, because the teachers have to change their routine too. When asking one of the Frontier teachers the question, “Do you have any concern about the hygiene of the new bathroom passes?” they responded with, “I am very excited/pleased with the new hallway pass system. Your question is a good one about hygiene. I think if students are mindful they can engage/use the pass with a minimum of contact.” This raises the question though, will students be mindful of where they place their passes? Another teacher gave thoughts on this exact question, “I am concerned that the passes may be contacting dirty surfaces, maybe hygiene isn’t what it should be…” What is a reasonable amount of confidence that the school administration should have in high school students regarding the hygienic nature of this problem? We’ll see with time.