The Truth Behind the Hall Passes


BLAINE HIGH SCHOOL- After the hall pass system was introduced this fall, students grumbled about this new restriction and its inconveniences, and some even began petitions to remove it. It was put into action as a way to solve several pressing issues Blaine had been dealing with.

Before the passes, assistant principal Mrs. Schultz explained that Blaine had seen an uptick in theft, and too many students were leaving class and wandering the halls.

English teacher Mrs. Reisdorf has even had to send students into the halls to find a student who didn’t come back if they left class. If a student doesn’t return for 20 minutes that counts as a truancy.

When it was the teacher’s discretion to decide whether or not to let a student leave class, most teachers didn’t want to be viewed as the “mean one” if they wouldn’t let students go to the bathroom or their locker. “Teacher’s no longer have to worry about being the bad guy or the good guy,” says Mr. Sowden.

According to the administration, there were also problems with students, mostly boys, organizing over text to meet in bathrooms during class time and vape or smoke weed. Assistant principal Mrs. Hall has called the boy’s bathrooms “vaping lounges.”

Mrs. Hall introduced the hall pass system as a way to increase safety, stop the use of chemicals, and encourage students to stay in class.

She adopted the same system that Champlin Park High School uses. Other schools, like Coon Rapids, have stricter systems. There, if you are caught in the halls during class time without a pass, you are written up.

The hall passes have proven to be effective at solving these problems, as the pass-related misconduct at Blaine has decreased. However, other unseen results have occurred.

Senior Abigail Doyle notices “The hall pass system has been disproportionately affecting the girl population at Blaine.” She explains how it has worsened the “obnoxious” bathroom lines at the girl’s bathrooms as more girls attempt to use the restroom during passing time as to not use up their passes.

The lines are often so long girls can’t make it during passing time and they can’t go during class. To read more about this dilemma check out: Everyday Sexism: Lines at the Girls’ Bathrooms

“The people who were abusing the system before aren’t going to follow the new hall pass rule, says Abby Chiaokhiao, a junior. She explains that the people who were doing the things that caused Blaine to adopt the hall passes aren’t the people who it is negatively impacting now.

Mrs. Reisdorf agrees that the hall pass system might not be the final solution, “instead, we could have added more hall monitors,” she explains.

In response to issues with the bathroom lines and other inconveniences for students brought upon them with the hall pass system, Mrs. Hall says, “If students come to talk with us, we will work it out with them. The office has no problem with giving students extra passes if necessary.

As for the hall pass petitions and resistance to the system, Mr. Sowden also makes a point that “It’ll be harder for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors to accept the transition because they knew what it was like before.”

Mr. Sowden adds, “The hall passes don’t have to be a permanent solution. We are always open to suggestion and change.”