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Paoli High School

501 Elm St.
Paoli, IN 47454
(812) 723-3905

Staff Editorial: A Rulebook Rewrite

Coming for the Cell Phones; We Say Keep Fighting Vapes
Heather Nichols
News to Know

Each year, the administration strives to maintain and improve school policies that most benefit student learning. These policies impact students’ lives in many ways. We asked two questions of our Paoli media staff students in a survey: “What should be a policy to change next year?” and “What should our school’s goals be for next year?”

The survey showed there were a lot of differing opinions, but several students agreed certain policies needed major changes. A current policy that most students agreed needs to be changed is the phone policy. Numerous students believe that the current is “too extreme” or that they should be allowed to use their phones in class once done with their work.

Another topic that most students believe needs to be changed is the dress code. Students stated they felt the dress code was too strict on girls and that considerations should be made to change the policy. Our survey shows that almost 52% of our staff believe that the cell phone policy is too strict, while 15% of students do not agree with the current dress code. Smaller issues the students addressed in the survey were having to use a sign-out sheet to use the restroom, not being able to wear hats or headbands, not letting students have backpacks in class, and the attendance policy.

Unfortunately for the students, fixing issues like these, and particularly the cell phone policy, is not easy. Senate Bill 185, which is now law, states, “Requires each school corporation and charter school to: (1) adopt and implement a wireless communication device policy that governs student use of a wireless communication device; and (2) publish the policy on the school corporation’s or charter school’s website.” This means that cell phone use in class will remain prohibited along with other devices that are not used for educational purposes. So, even if our administration felt as though this policy needed to be changed, it is not something that the school has the power to do.

A goal for next year students addressed in the survey was focusing on eliminating vaping. While the school already has rules which prohibit vaping or the use of nicotine on school grounds, 15% of our staff believes that our administration should focus on trying to completely eliminate vaping at school. Students aren’t just worried about vapes though, the use of tobacco and drugs also worry students at school. While there are already many things being done for this problem, students state how they believe it isn’t completely being solved and should remain a goal to resolve in the following year.

Another common goal students have for the administration of Paoli is focusing on adding more college credits or weighted classes into the school curriculum. The survey shows that most students believe that by increasing class-based goals and adding more choices for classes, students will be motivated to remain engaged in activities. This could potentially solve the school’s issues of students hanging out in the bathroom and being late to class, not doing their work, and signing out early to avoid certain classes.

Although there are many policies that the majority of students believe need to be adjusted, such as the cell phone and dress code policy, students can unanimously agree that Paoli High School is a safe space in their everyday education.

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