Change DHS Open Ends Policy
Change DHS Open Ends Policy
Why this petition matters
For the past two years, Darien High School (DHS) has implemented open ends, allowing all students to leave the school during a free block at the end of the day. However, this upcoming year has been different. The administration stripped a majority of our open ends rights away. Not only for the freshman, sophomores and juniors, but also for new seniors. Not only have the seniors been looking forward to their open ends privileges for their time at the high school, but they have also paid a ridiculous amount of $113.50 to park at the school, only for them to not be allowed to use their car. Seniors have been stopped and detained at the door before even leaving the school and followed when grabbing lunch from their car. Campus monitors are patrolling all exit points while continuously harassing the students. In addition to this, seniors, staff, and parents are being humiliated by having their IDs checked. Our main goal, as the student body, is to change the open ends policy back to what it once was.
According to a recent private study that was conducted at DHS, almost 100% of students believe that open ends improves their mental and physical health, as they are allowed to leave the very stressful environment during a free period. Breaks are really important when attending school. For example, breaks increase one's overall energy, their productivity, and their ability to focus. Many students expressed their feelings on the subject, and mentioned they feel anxious and trapped. Everyone should have the option to leave the school when they can. Even the parents of DHS believe their child should be allowed to leave, as they have no problem signing a waiver regarding the school’s liability.
The administration always ‘preaches’ mental health and ‘being independent’ but they continue to make ridiculous new rules and regulations. The Vision of the Graduate is a set of six virtues that the school promotes, and independence is one. It states that students should “confidently choose what's best for [them], balancing life's demands.” Taking away our choices is not making us more independent, it is only further making us codependent by being at school. This is not balancing life, as this makes students believe that sitting down and grinding out homework after a long day of exhausting classes takes priority over giving themselves a break in their own space.
Further proving the hypocrisy of the administration, they mention that DHS is apparently “too much like a college campus.” Isn't the point of high school to prepare us for college? Speaking for the majority of students at DHS, having open ends will make the transition to college less stressful and we will be better prepared. Tell us, how does suddenly taking away the right to go home help?
Overall, taking away our open ends rights is not ‘bringing the school closer together,’ it's creating a divide between the administration and the students. This is not what we need at DHS right now.
It's important that everyone has a voice, so I advise everyone to look at the following comments from students who actively attend DHS. This is important to understand how the student body feels about the recent changes.
Anonymous student #1 - “Forcing me to stay in school is not stimulating me to work any harder than I would at home.”
Anonymous student #2 - “It’s laughable how the Administration claims that they’re helping students with their mental health while actively contradicting themselves by changing policy that positively benefited our mental health that also was working fine for a couple years now.”
Anonymous student #3 - “School teaches us about how our nation, conceived in liberty, was based on the idea that all men are equal. However, by treating us like children, the school administrators clearly demonstrate their disdain for the very values our community holds in the highest regard. They play God with our lives, twisting and turning our schedules in whatever way they wish, with no consent from anyone besides themselves. To Hell with that! I do not bow to tyranny, nor do I accept its rule! I have no intention to comply with this unjust power mongering; consequences be damned! In the words of Patrick Henry, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’”
Anonymous student #4 - “Having open ends gives the many students at DHS who have after school activities, such as sports and clubs, a break between school and extracurriculars and the opportunity to start their homework while being in the comfort of their own home"
Anonymous student #5 - “This open ends problem is going to hurt my mental health dramatically. It feels like my rights at this school are being taken away with all of the new attendance changes. It feels like I’m trapped at this school.”