Many changes have been made to this year’s school rules and policies. Many were necessary to keep staff and students safe and to decrease the amount of COVID cases, others were just new rules not relating to COVID-19. One of the new policies here at PHS is the no headphone policy. There have been questions asked about the reasoning behind the policy. The main reason headphones were taken away is to help with students’ safety and learning.
“Student safety was another key issue for the rule change. I can’t tell you the number of times we conducted an emergency drill only to see students with both earbuds or earphones on their heads as they exited the building. Had it been a real emergency, students need to be alert and attentive to information being provided. We also noticed that students were wearing them during class-time instruction. Obviously the classroom is a place for instruction and if a student has them listening to music or a movie it becomes a distraction,” said Assistant Principal Ed Wagner.
The new policy was also put in place to eliminate the confusion of being allowed to use headphones in class with teacher permission only.
“There’s always been an earbud or earphone policy in place but it only attempted to prevent students from wearing them during class. We had countless issues with them so we narrowed the policy down. The new policy just doesn’t allow them at all unless a teacher specifically said they were okay during that period for instructional purposes only,” said Wagner.
The administrators want students to know that it’s not their intention to take everything away from them, but to ensure safety and learning in school.
“We get that music and communication devices are important to everyone, but there’s a time and place for them and a classroom or crowded hallway isn’t one of them. Last year when we decided to change the policy we were having several instances daily where students were being asked to remove a listening device only to have the student act out towards the directive. If all students would follow the procedures in place we would not have to take things away. We only do this when we recognize an issue and students fail to follow general procedures. If students will follow the directions set in the agenda and not bend the policy to fit a want, there will be no need to tighten or change a policy,” said Wagner.
Story by Angie Ceja