Highland Hopes Hall Pass Policy Increases Safety


Eliott Coda

Color-coded hall passes are the new norm at Highland…for teachers who have not had them stolen.

Janie Lambert, Staff Writer

Highland has made an easier way to make sure students stay where they are supposed to be and not roam around the hallways. Color-coded hall passes, complete with each teacher’s name and a lanyard, have become the only way to travel through Highland.

But students need to make sure their color matches the hallway in which they are walking as each floor has its own unique color.

The Highland administration made this policy because of recent security concerns for students and the increase of students wandering the halls rather than being in class.

“There are some people who are rarely where they are supposed to be,” Highland principal Jeremy Chatterton said. “The idea is that the hall passes would have a specific color so that if we see them in a completely different part of the school, it is easier for us to know where they are supposed to be.”

Security is the primary concern. Both East High School and West High School have had situations where students brought guns onto campus. The guns were never used, however West had to go into lockdown for several hours to find the student that brought the gun.

To enforce this policy, hall monitors are ensuring that students have their hall passes and are where they’re supposed to be. If a student does not have a hall pass or they are in the wrong place, they will be sent back to class.

“We are trying to improve the overall security of the building to make it a safer environment for everyone,” Chatterton said.

Another reason Highland has created this new policy is that many teachers and faculty have expressed concern and frustration because students are taking longer bathroom breaks and missing the majority of class. But the policy is not completely solving this issue. Teachers are only given one pass, which means if the pass is being used, others must wait until that student returns.

And sometimes the wait can be excruciating.

“I was in a class, and I had an emergency and had to go immediately, but since so many kids just grab the passes and wander around, I had to wait quite a while,” sophomore Macy Crossley said. “I think classrooms should have two or three hall passes in them.”

Some students have expressed their concerns about the hall passes, feeling it is unnecessary for kids this age.

“I feel like I am being treated younger than a high schooler should be,” sophomore Cecilia Galindo said. “I feel as if there is an unnecessary lack of trust.”

One of the concerns students have is that, due to bathroom closures, they have to go to different floors. Students are worried about getting into trouble if they are forced to enter another color zone.

Chatterton cleared up any concern about needing to be on a different floor.

“Just explain the reasoning and they will let you go,” Chatterton said.

Highland staff hopes that the outcome of the hall passes will lead to students being present in class and more attentive. It is also a way of making sure students stay safe and where they need to be during the school day.

The policy has been in effect for about a month, but the policy is already showing some limitations. Teachers have reported hall passes stolen or lost. There have also been issues with students making fake hall passes so they can stay in the hallways for longer and not get in trouble.