In lieu of the New Year, the administration for ORR High School has passed new policies that are effective as of Monday, January 7. In an attempt to embrace the modern teenager’s connection to technology, two new policies will integrate cell phones in the school day. Students are now allowed to use their cell phones during lunch. If a student is found using their cell phone during any other time of the day, the usual rules will apply — the phone will go to the Vice Principal and will not be returned until its owner serves a detention.
The other policy concerning cell phone use serves as an exception to the rule. Students will be allowed to use their cell phones in the classroom by teacher discretion. Social networking and texting will not be allowed — when teachers give the go ahead for students to use their cell phones in class, it will only be for further education purposes or if it is to aid in a student presentation. Any violation of the new policy, such as texting or using social networking websites, will be subject to the usual cell phone policy.
Another new policy concerns locker use and scheduling. Passing time will be six minutes long as opposed to the usual four. This longer passing time is paired with a requirement for students to use their lockers and the retraction of students’ right to use a backpack in transporting books during the school day.
This is not the whole story. A vast majority of students in the school are seriously opposing the mandatory locker and no backpack policy. Complaints are loud and widespread throughout the school. There are a few different reasons students take issue with the new policy. Senior Salem Hartley was willing to share her personal reasons for disliking the new rule.
“I’ve used a backpack every day since freshmen year. Adjusting to only being able to bring a binder and two books to class is difficult. There are little things like extra pens, pencils and random little things like that that now you have to buy a little bag for or live without. I think it’s silly they are going to change this in the middle of the year after we’ve done it for over three years,” said Hartley.
Many students echo the complaints of inconvenience, as well as increased traffic in the hallways. Senior Joshua Powers is affected by this new traffic.
“It is overwhelming in the hallways now, with everyone racing to their lockers and trying to get to their classes. The already narrow hallways just get narrower,” he said.
Students all around the school are voicing their complaints to teachers and each other. Most teachers are rather unsympathetic, many of them remembering their days when they used their lockers. However, most of them will not deny the fact that it has been a long time since they have seen the student body so unified against one thing.
By Jessica Correia