As returning students get back to our norm, we have noticed that there’s a new one at WA. New students have settled in, and what was described to them as a college preparatory school with many freedoms, has left them disappointed; things have changed. While yes, we can now wear leggings and the most preppy type of joggers, the dress code is still very much in place. And while we still can walk around campus (and have free periods where we please) there are some notable independences taken from us. Here’s the issue with the most noticeable ones.
I get it: teachers don’t feel heard or respected when a student is on their phone in class. I agree, it is extremely rude. Yet, what I don’t understand is taking them from us when it has never been a problem for the majority. There are SO many issues with taking phones from students. For starters, it’s simply a safety hazard! I won’t beat around the bush; school shootings and other acts of violence aren’t just make-believe. It is a real thing that happens where one may need to call someone or use it in case of an emergency. If you go to the bathroom and are even put in a false alarm without your phone, it is sure to be trauma-inducing.
Secondly, it is taking away an important mental health resource. During my freshman year, the amount of times I had to leave the classroom and email my guidance counselor was almost embarrassing. However, at the end of the day, it was a necessary blanket that I wouldn’t have gotten through some school days without. I would use my phone to email my guidance counselor and then use the ID in the back of my phone case to let myself into Dexter to get to their office. Without my phone, I would have been left to figure out my panic attack or breakdown without support, which isn’t fair when five minutes away is a trusted adult who can help me. Periods: until WA puts tampons and pads in every bathroom across campus, I will need my phone to text my friends for one. Half the time I forget one, and then what am I supposed to do? Lastly, it is a college preparatory school. If a student whos parent pays an atrocious amount of money decides to waste their education on watching Tik Toks, let them. What do teachers always say? It’s your time we are wasting, not mine. Students need to learn that they have responsibility for their education; that is what this school is supposed to be about. I say keep that same energy with phones.
It’s still a simple freedom that makes people happy, gives them more options and time to eat, and is easy to gain access to. If the issue is safety, we have security that checks drivers in; we can fix the issue by just asking that the security sees the order. If a student is on a strict meal plan or has dietary restrictions, or even just wants something else to eat, then this is an option that our school could allow. WA is filled with athletes, and we aren’t a dining hall filled with protein… This being said, it increases options for students to make sure they are eating enough food and enough of the right food for their goals. It also gives more time for students to eat, if they are someone who feels sick or gets uncomfortable eating in front of others; they will have a period to eat. If Doordash stays an option, students will continue to have time to eat a full meal when comfortable. If we are trying to prepare for college, ordering delivery is a realistic thing that people will be doing. My biggest issue with this entire subject is the fact that security has been ordered to throw out the food that has been delivered to the school. Just because many students here are wealthy does NOT mean everyone is. People PAID for that; money is not as indispensable as those in charge are making it out to be. A waste of food and money.
It has been laid back, but are we seriously still enforcing boys wearing collared shirts and girls not being able to wear spaghetti straps? It is not teaching us to be professional, it is teaching us to dress for jobs that half of us don’t want. They say they want us to make our own paths with our careers, yet are setting us up to work at a white-collar office job that most of us don’t want. Some of us want to be basketball stars, actors, doctors even. And guess what… the majority of the time we won’t be wearing these so-called “professional” clothes. In the case of spaghetti straps, the only reason people think it’s unprofessional is because they sexualize girls’ shoulders. In my opinion, a guy can look professional without a collar and a girl can in a dress with her shoulders out.