Morning Mishaps, Entrance Errors, and Headphone Hassles

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Filing into the building after getting just a few hours of sleep is a daily morning occurrence for thousands of Stuyvesant students. It’s no surprise if they occasionally fumble with their ID cards and swipe the wrong way, show the wrong screenshots of their daily health screenings, or forget to take out their headphones. These are honest mistakes and can be quickly corrected with a modicum of patience. But rather than being responded to with sympathy, many students have been reprimanded and even subjected to harsh punishments, such as losing their outdoor lunch privileges for two weeks, because of a five-second holdup.

However, these consequences were never clearly communicated to students, leaving them unaware of what constitutes an error. Additionally, when doling out any punishment—especially something as severe as ID confiscation or voiding lunch—for a mistake that anyone could have made, students should be well-informed of the actions that warrant such consequences. Yet virtually no information about entrance conduct has been available in the health screening-related e-mails sent to students. Instead, students learn of these policies when it is too late, causing frustration and a disconnect between the student body and administration.

Despite the scrutiny students are put under before 8:00 a.m., other policies remain murky––most notably the school’s phone and headphone policy. While the number of phone confiscations has been greatly reduced this year, school officials seem to be more strictly enforcing the headphone policy. The headphone policy is more relaxed in certain areas of the school, such as the library and cafeteria, which causes confusion about the exact boundaries and borders of the policy. It is not just a lack of transparency that makes this policy hard to navigate, but also its inconsistent enforcement.

There must be clarity, communication, and trust between students and the administration regarding these policies and punishments. Over the years, students have proven that they can be trusted to use their devices outside of classrooms and that they are no less focused in class because of them. The same goes for the headphones and the entrance policy; students have made it clear that they will work to respect the school’s rules, so long as these rules are crystalized and publicized.

The first step to addressing the problem is to ensure that school policies are made clear. The lack of transparency regarding consequences and implications of breaching certain school policies has left many students frustrated about the punishments that they end up receiving. In addition to communicating these policies with students, the administration must also guarantee that they are reasonable. Currently, students have had IDs confiscated and lunches voided for showing a health screening for the wrong date, and headphones simply taken away from them without explanation. Perhaps more reasonable measures are a required redo of the health screening and a trip to the back of the line. Whatever the policy ends up being, the bottom line is that students should know what it is.

This problem does not rest solely on the administration. Yes, mistakes happen, but students should also double-check their health screenings to reciprocate respect toward school officials and create a more seamless school entrance. If students want to be respected, they must respect the rules and establishment that they go to school under. Through clear communication and empathy, the administration and student body can build a foundation of mutual respect and trust that makes all of our early morning entrances a bit easier.