TOWNSEND: Passing period too limited

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TOWNSEND: Passing period too limited





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Everyone is familiar with that loud, unapologetic tone that rings in the ears of students once it is time to get to class. The bell schedule means a lot of things to each individual – the heart-stopping and fear-inducing signal to the start of a class in which you have to present in front of everyone; the sweet release of the end of the day when you get to go home and take that long hoped-for nap.

But when it’s the bell that signifies the end of a passing period, many students find themselves in a scattered rush and unprepared to get to class on time.

Passing period is supposed to be a time in which students, before getting to their next class, have a chance to go to the restrooms, get a snack or some water from the vending machines, or merely walk across campus to their next classroom.

When a student’s next class is only two doors down, they have more free time to take care of bathroom breaks or get water for themselves during passing. But when they get out of a math class in the Admin building and their next class in down in the portables, a student has no time to think about going to the restroom. They, instead are focused on whether or not they can physically get to the classroom before that tone signifies their tardiness.

In this case, teachers should be more forgiving of students excusing themselves during class to use our school’s facilities. After all, they had to choose between being tardy and missing class time or excusing themselves mid-lesson and also losing time in class.

The hurriedness caused by these shorter passing periods can be made even worse as a large number of students are attempting to get to class on time. Passing period is made hectic as students shove past one another or jog to catch up with the schedule, making obstacles out of people. In this way, the short-lasting passing period can cause disruption and possible conflict on campus.

People have been talking about the short passing period times for quite a long while. It comes and passes in waves of importance. But what if we as a school actually did something about this?

Just this year, not too long ago, a bill was brought up to our Governor Brown proposing later start times for high schools in California. It wasn’t signed off on, but this was an actual step taken that made its way up to such a high level, and such an official committee.

Our school, regardless of this state-wide decision, could end up choosing in the end to carry on with this suggestion. It’s still a possibility.

Change can happen. It is possible to have your voice heard. If we as a school chose to take on this issue and proposed the implementation of a new schedule or at least change this one, we have the potential to actually effect change.

The stressors and anxiety school puts on us is only amplified by that feeling of guilt once the tardy bell rings, as we skip-jog to class in hopes the teacher won’t get too upset at us if we aren’t too much longer. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to class on time even after taking a bathroom break? To not have to awkwardly shuffle into class while everyone is doing the Pledge of Allegiance?

The point here: we run on a bell schedule. This does aid in remembering when class ends and when it comes time to move from Spanish class to math, but should these rigid bell tones determine tardiness when they have no ability to see our circumstances? We are humans. Our bodies and our abilities do not always fit a rigid schedule. It’s been this way for centuries upon centuries.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way. We can initiate change if enough effort and passion is behind it. This isn’t the only issue we can have control over, either. This is the start of making us students into people who can actually rally for change if we stick with the idea. Walk away from reading this article feeling empowered; and having that realistic hope that change is possible.

Start small. Start with bell schedules. Push for higher standards in areas you feel are lacking.

The staff of Roseville High School have our best interest at heart and have taken measures to make sure we as students are comfortable and can be successful. To allow us a bit more wiggle room during passing would only boost our moral; it would give our already strained and stressed minds a bit of relief.